Senate set to begin impeachment hearing of Kisii deputy governor

Kisii Deputy Governor Robert Monda at Kisii County Assembly during his impeachment motion. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

The Senate is set to commence the impeachment hearing of Kisii Deputy Governor Robert Monda after Senate Speaker Amason Kingi was informed of the decision of Kisii county assembly last Thursday.

This will be the third impeachment motion before the Senate after Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza and Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol survived after the House dismissed their impeachment last year.

Kingi has seven days to convene a sitting of the Senate to hear the charges the Members of Kisii County Assembly brought against Dr Monda for determination. 

The House will then form a special committee comprising of eleven members to investigate the matter.

The Senate Speaker is expected to inform the house of the developments any time from tomorrow, setting in a motion the process to form an 11-member special committee of the Senate which shall investigate the matter and report to the Senate within 10 days.

According to County Governments Act the Senate special committee is expected to report to the house whether it has found proof of the charges brought against the deputy governor.

“If the special committee reports the particulars of any allegation against the deputy governor have not been substantiated, further proceedings shall not be taken under this section in respect of that allegation. If they are substantiated the Senate shall after according the deputy governor an opportunity to be heard, vote on the impeachment charges,” read the Act.

A total of 53 Members of Kisii County Assembly voted to impeach Monda with 15 MCAs voting against the motion while 1 member abstained with 1 vote getting spoilt. Assembly Speaker Phillip Nyanumba declared the impeachment had met two thirds threshold of the 70 MCAs.

Monda faced four charges including alleged gross violation of the Constitution, abuse of office, gross misconduct and crimes under national law. The impeachment motion was moved by Ichuni Ward MCA Wycliffe Siocha.

Differences between Kisii Governor Simba Arati and Monda played out when the deputy governor hosted the governor’s rivals including Kisii Senator Richard Onyonka, Kisii Woman Representative Doris Aburi and National Assembly Chief Whip Silvanus Osoro at his rural home last year.

Osoro vowed to use his political muscle in Parliament to ensure that Monda's impeachment is defeated on the floor of the Senate in a political supremacy battle with Arati with whom they have not been seeing eye to eye.

The Chief Whip claimed that the deputy governor was being victimised for working with other elected leaders in Kisii county terming it political witch hunt.

Arati and Osoro engaged in a physical fight in the presence of Ruto and Raila during the burial of the father of former Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi three years ago. 

Arati on Wednesday last week implored Kisii MCAs to reconsider their decision to impeach his deputy after meeting religious leaders in the region in efforts to promote unity among the local elected leaders who have been engaging in war of words.

“I want call upon Members of County Assembly to reconsider your position over my deputy so that we can address the issues raised since I know you have set a date to vote so that this matters can be addressed outside the assembly and the Senate if possible," the governor said.

Onyonka and Arati who campaigned on the same platform during the 2022 General Election would later fall out bitterly a few months after they assumed their senatorial and governorship positions with their supporters going at each other at every opportunity.

The two leaders seem to have mended fences which was displayed when Raila toured Kisii last Thursday where the Senator asked the Azimio leader to consider having the governor elevated to ODM national chairmanship as he exits local politics to battle for the African Union Commission Chairmanship.

“When the discussion on the impeachment of Kisii Deputy Governor Robert Monda comes to the Senate we will follow the law, if he is innocent, we will acquit him, if he is culpable I will state so, I believe this will be one of the most important votes I will make in my political life,” said Onyonka.