Is Governor Kawira Mwangaza's goose sizzling? Meru MCAs table motion to impeach her

Governor Kawira Mwangaza. [File, Standard]

Meru County Assembly Minority Whip Dennis Kiogora has moved a motion seeking to impeach Governor Kawira Mwangaza.

In the motion, Kiogora has accused the county boss of breaching the Constitution and making illegal appointments.

The motion has been supported by 38 ward representatives in Meru County.

Some of the allegations tabled against Kawira are the appointment of her spouse to the Meru County offices, the roadside appointment of county workers at Timau, Nkubu, and Kianjai, contempt of Court, and illegal dismissal of staff.

The MCAs claim the governor has on many occasions usurped the Constitution and statutory functions of county organs.

So far, the county assembly has requested submissions from residents on an impeachment motion that had been tabled and approved by the assembly.

The request was done in a public advertisement and set the submission deadline as November 28.

"Article 196 of the Constitution provides that a county assembly shall openly conduct its business and hold its sittings and those of its committees in public and facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative and other business," the notice read in part.

"The office of the clerk has approved a notice of motion for the removal of the governor by impeachment in line with the provisions of Article 181, Section 33 of the county governments Act 2012 and standing order No.65 of the county assembly of Meru standing orders."

A resident of Meru, Salesio Thuranira, filed a motion seeking to have the governor ousted for alleged abuse of office and gross misconduct.

According to the law, a governor can only be removed from office if they violate the Constitution, commits a crime under national or international law, abuses office, shows gross misconduct, or is physically or mentally incapacitated.

"Parliament shall enact legislation providing for the procedure of removal of a county governor on any of the grounds specified in clause (1)."

The procedure of removal from office

To remove a governor from office, a motion is tabled in the corresponding County assembly.

The governor is given time to defend themselves before the ward representatives vote on the motion.

"The Clerk of the county assembly shall, at least seven days before the date on which the motion is to be moved in the assembly- (a) serve the Governor with a copy of the motion and copies of the written memoranda, and invite the Governor to appear and be heard by the county assembly specifying the date, time and place for the hearing," the Constitution states.

If a motion is supported by at least two-thirds of all the members of the county assembly, the county assembly speaker communicates to the Senate speaker.

Within 10 days of receiving the assembly's communication, the Senate Speaker convenes a sitting to debate the issue and allow the Governor to defend themselves.

If the motion goes through, the impeached governor has 14 days to appeal the decision at the High Court for review.