Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza survived an impeachment motion for the second time in less than one year after the majority of senators voted against each one of the seven counties raised against her by Members of the Meru County Assembly.
In a voting that went past midnight the governor who appeared in a pensive mood and could be seen wiping tears with a handkerchief from time to time as she was comforted by her advocate Elias Mutuma as the senators voted to give her another chance to serve the people of Meru.
Kawira faced; misappropriation and misuse of county resources, nepotism and related unethical practices, bullying, vilification and demeaning of other leaders, illegal appointments and usurpation of statutory powers, contempt of court, illegally naming a public road after her husband and contempt against the county assembly.
When given a chance to make final remarks before the vote was taken, Kawira pleaded with the house to save her asking forgiveness if she had wronged anyone in the Senate and in Meru County admitting that just like other human beings she had her own weaknesses.
“I am praying to God to give me energy, grace and perseverance to serve the people of Meru since I have a duty to unite them, I am seeking forgiveness from the Meru Senator, Members of Parliament and Members of County Assembly,” said Kawira.
The Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi said that there is a big problem in Meru which needs to be addressed calling on President William Ruto to take charge and understand what is happening and that 59 MCAs cannot be made to impeach the governor for a second time.
Murungi who is the Senate Deputy Speaker said they should not look just down to one issue of gender that had been amplified in the impeachment proceedings and that there was some misrepresentation about the meaning of some of the clips presented before the house which should be reviewed.
Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot called on the senators to deliver a wise and nonpartisan judgement so as to help the people of Meru seek out their political challenges and that the county assembly did their job well no matter the outcome of the impeachment motion.
Cheruiyot said that there are some of the charges which have been proved beyond reasonable doubt and whichever way they vote they are damned if they do and they are damned if they do not and that the governor needs to change her ways and find the best way to work with other leaders.
“I would like to tell the Governor not to just preach but also read the bible since this will enable her to find answers to some of the issues being raised here, whichever way this vote goes Meru County will still need guidance from this house on how to carry out its affairs going forward,” said Cheruiyot.
Cheruiyot gave the example of two women in the Bible who fought over a baby after one of their own babies died and they sought the counsel of King Solomon who tested them by asking whether he should cut the baby into two after which he was able to know the real mother and hand over the baby.
The Majority Leader said that some Senators had asked whether they should invoke the constitution to have the entire leadership of Meru sent packing and have a fresh start since it was clear that there was a serious problem in the county which needed to be addressed.
He said that some of the messages displayed in the videos shown in the house were grave and that the National Cohesion and Integration Commission should take action since as a father of two daughters he would like to leave a better place for them when he exits the political scene.
Senate Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo said that members had spent long hours on Tuesday and Wednesday so that they could listen to what was happening in Meru and that they were saddened by some of the videos that appeared to demean women.
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Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said that the conflict among leaders in Meru was not new but what is new is how they will handle the matter giving the example where Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana was treated the same way as Mwangaza and ended up being the best Governor.
Machakos Senator Agnes Kavindu said that they have listened to both the governor and county assembly and she was disappointed and that the issues brought should have been solved in Meru and should not have been brought to the house.
“I was disappointed by the videos of Governor Mwangaza being abused, Women are leaders and do not need to be bullied, I can see that if the Governor and the MCAs are given time to work without interference they can deliver, there is nothing to take her home,” said Kavindu.
Mandera Senator Ali Roba said that this would be a weighty matter that Senators have to decide on and that as a leader who has served as governor for 10 years, he could not see anything good no matter the decision they take whether they impeach the governor or not.
Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina said that they were entertained by a charade and innuendos which cannot be proved condemning the abuses against the Governor terming the uncouth and uncivilized behaviour by a Member of Parliament.
“We are being invited to get into the conflict of manhood and womanhood and that if the area leaders cannot get their act together the county should be disbanded and a commission of inquiry formed to investigate the conduct of the leaders in the county,” said Kina.
Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang said that the County Assembly has done its part no matter the outcome and that they are damned whatever decision it takes and that the governor should have reported the matter to the police and that she was the only sane person in the county.
“The people of Meru should seek to have their county disbanded and we send back Governor Kawira Mwangaza and all the Members of the County Assembly to the people so that they can get a fresh mandate,” said Kajwang.
Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni said that some utterances and acts committed against the governor were shameful, the Senate is on trial and that he will vote to support the women of Kenya in respect of his mother, wife and two daughters.
Nominated Senator Peris Tobiko said that tribal and ethnic profiling and hounding the Governor of Meru and threatening her life asking herself whether this is what awaits the women aspiring to be governors and that the people of Meru should live with their choice for five years.
Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna said that he had expected charges to meet the highest threshold as per the constitution and that a decision had been made that Mwangaza had to go as the governor of Meru with measures put in place to ensure that was achieved at all costs.
Nakuru Senator Tabitha Karanja said that when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers and that in this case the people of Meru and that the evidence brought by both parties was not convincing and that women work five times to reach where men are.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said that impeachment is a political process and that gender was not on trial and that it has been approved that the governor could not account for Sh 78 million and abdicated her role to the County Secretary.
Cherargei said that the governor had demeaned other Meru leaders before the president and deputy president wondering why it was difficult for her to work with other leaders and that he had predicted during the previous impeachment they would come back to the house.
Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi said that an extract from IFMIS without consent had been presented with seeking the National Treasury, and Controller of Budget of the IFMIS directorate and that they can listen to information from a document that cannot be verified.
Nominated Senator Tabitha Mutinda said the country has seven female governors and challenged her to work with Members of the County Assembly if she gets another chance to serve the people of Meru