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Kitui MCAs serve assembly clerk with notice to impeach Governor Ngilu

By Philip Muasya | June 23rd 2020 at 12:19:13 GMT +0300

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu when she appeared before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee on audit queries at Parliament on November 29, 2019. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

A notice of motion to impeach Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu was on Tuesday served to the clerk of the County Assembly awaiting tabling and debate mid next week.

The impeachment motion dubbed “the removal of Hon Charity Ngilu from the office of the governor by impeachment”, which has been signed by 40 MCAs out of 56, seeks to oust the governor on allegations of violating the constitution and provisions of the county government act, abuse of office and failure to account for public funds.

The motion that is set for tabling on Wednesday also accuses Ngilu of undermining the authority of the county assembly and conflict of interest in awarding county tenders.

For instance, the motion has cited Ngilu’s for failure to comply with the two-thirds gender rule in the appointments of members of County Executive Committee, noting that since August 2019; the executive committee has only one female out of seven members.

“Out of the seven, only one is a woman - the governor herself. She has failed to nominate more women and comply with the two-thirds gender rule which is a gross violation of the constitution. It is quite astonishing that the governor being a woman herself has continuously elected to oppress and deny the women of Kitui their constitutional rights, privileges and opportunities,” the document reads in part.

The motion has also accused the governor of failing to honour summons of the senate committee on County Public Investment and Accounts to shed light on audit queries regarding the management and expenditure of county funds amounting to Sh20 billion for 2017 /2018 and 2018/ 2019 financial years.

The motion notes that when the governor finally appeared before the committee, she failed to give a satisfactory explanation to the audit queries.

Another reason the MCAs want Ngilu out is related to “conflict of interest and abuse of office” in the purchase of a stationary stone crusher valued at Sh85 million and whose tender, the motion claims by way of attaching procurement documents; was awarded to the governor’s relative through single sourcing and in which public funds are believed to have been embezzled.

The motion has also indicted the governor for undermining the authority of the assembly by failing to sack Philip Mumo, the county executive in charge of Trade, Cooperatives and Investments who was last year impeached by the assembly.

“The assembly communicated to the governor on November 21, 2019, the decision to impeach the officer but since then she has allowed him to serve at her pleasure thus promoting illegality and undermining the house,” the motion notes.

Mumo was impeached for allegedly holding a forged degree certificate.  A similar issue has been raised on the hiring of a county secretary, with the assembly claiming the name and credentials of the current holder of the office Joshua Chepchieng were never presented to the house for vetting and approval.

Soon after the appointment of Chepchieng, a career public administrator who at one time served as Kitui Central DC, Ngilu explained that he had been seconded from the national government thus he needed no re-vetting.

Further, the motion has accused the governor of sinking the county health sector “into disarray and deplorable state” by failing to appoint a substantive CEC in the docket for two and half years.

The MCAs have claimed this has exposed the county residents to poor and inadequate health policies thus violating their right to quality health services.

“Notably, the health docket is one of the highly funded and by declining to appoint an executive member in charge, the governor appears to be hindering the assembly from auditing and calling to account the said allocations,” the motion reads.

In addition, the MCAs have taken issue with the purchase of a CT scan valued at Sh80 million and an X-ray machine valued at Sh70 million in 2018 – 2019 financial year for the county referral hospital but which have remained nonfunctional since their acquisition. The ward reps have termed this as wastage of public resources.

Governor Ngilu has however blamed the majority Wiper MCAs of plotting to derail her development agenda for selfish reasons and political aggrandizement. She has particularly cited the failure of the assembly to approve her budgets on time.

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