Nakuru county secretary survives ouster motion as MCAs clash

Nakuru MCAs tussle at the County Assembly on May 2, 2024, when debating the ouster motion. [Daniel Chege, Standard]

Nakuru County Secretary Samuel Mwaura has survived an ouster motion in a debate that was characterised by chaos as Members of the County Assembly clashed.

There was drama in the chamber when Menengai East Ward Representative Wilson Wachira rose to move the impeachment motion that was defeated by a majority.

Out of 69 members present, 67 voted to reject an Ad hoc committee to investigate Dr Mwaura over alleged gross violation of the Constitution, gross misconduct, and incompetence.

"The threshold provided for creating an Ad Hoc committee has not been met as 67 have voted No. Two including Wachira abstained from voting," said Speaker Joel Karuri.

The Speaker ruled that the motion to impeach Mwaura was defeated.

The ruling followed a heated exchange between members that almost degenerated into a fistfight as a section of MCAs who had pushed for impeachment changed tune during the debate.

Naivasha East MCA Stanley Karanja, who was vocal about the push to impeach Mwaura over alleged incompetence and violation of the law, changed tune on the floor of the House.

Rising on a point of order, Karanja surprised the House when he declared that the members had no constitutional power to impeach the county secretary and head of public service.

He argued that MCAs are only mandated to procedurally impeach the governor, the Speaker, and members of the County Executive Committee (CECs).

"The motion has been irregularly brought to the House," said Karanja.

Karanja's argument was contrary to his initial stand that the assembly was mandated by law to impeach the CS on the grounds that he had failed in his responsibility as the head of public service.

However, a section of MCAs who were opposed to the motion, castigated his new stance.

Members opposed to the motion caused chaos leading to a confrontation as the assembly orderlies guarded the mace.

The confrontation lasted for about five minutes before the House was brought to order.

The Leader of Majority Alex Langat said the impeachment motion did not meet the threshold.

Dr Langat said that for MCAs to end peoples' careers, the issues raised needed to be strong, fair, clear, and specific.

“The MCAs who pushed for the impeachment clearly knew that there was no standing order to impeach the County Secretary,” he said Langat.

He said that as soon as the MCAs knew they had no power to impeach Mwaura, they resorted to chaos in a bid to have their way.

“We do not want to continue making fun at the floor of the House in a special sitting done in the middle of a recess,” said Langat.

Karuri said that the debate will continue and proposed that every member should cast a vote to either support or oppose the committee.

One by one each member including Karanja opposed. Wachira was left alone and he instead abstained from voting together with another member.

The House was adjourned to June 4.

According to the motion, Mwaura violated the Constitution, when he failed to honour summons of Assembly committees.

He is said to have refused to be questioned on issues touching on the performance of the County Public Service Board.

“The County Secretary is accused of gross misconduct for violating the rights and fundamental freedom of Kenyans and violating the Leadership and Integrity Act,” read the motion.

Mwaura was also accused of incompetence, for disobeying a court order that stopped the county government’s interference with the running of War Memorial Hospital.

He said he will only respond to the allegations while appearing before the House.