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Senators vote to impeach Governor Mohamud

POLITICS
By Mireri Junior | May 17th 2021

Wajir Governor Mohamud Abdi during his impeachment debate at Senate chambers, Parliament buildings, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud has been impeached after senators voted to remove him from office.

Twenty-five (25) senators on May 17 voted for the removal motion on grounds of gross violation of the Constitution despite most of the senators discrediting the grounds of his ouster before the vote.

During the roll-call vote, 25 voted for his ouster, two (2) against while four (4) abstained from the vote.

Wajir MCAs impeached Governor Mohamud on April 27 accusing him of having flouted the County Government Act, Public Procurement Act and Asset Disposal Act and the Public Finance Management Act.

A section of senators while debating on the House committee report on his impeachment, said the charge did not warrant removal, but that was not reflected in the voting as the majority voted to send him home. 

Spirited defence

Governor Mohamud earlier defended himself against the allegation, terming them frivolous and don’t warrant impeachment.

He pleaded with the Senate to spare him after the special committee upheld his impeachment by the County Assembly of Wajir over gross violation of the constitution.

He warned the Senate against using only one charge to form the basis of impeaching a governor.

While addressing the Senate before the senators took a vote on his ouster, Governor Mohamud urged the Senate to be humane and give him a chance to serve the people of Wajir.

Mohamud said he might have violated the constitution in one way or the other but the violation is not gross based on what his administration has achieved within the four years.

“I wish to plead with the Senate to be sympathetic and not use one aspect to oust me, let the Senate be humane and give us a chance so that we are able to serve our people,” he said.

Regarding the health sector where he is accused of failing to provide services to the Wajir people, Governor Mohamud said in the last four years, the county government has built 50 health facilities and bought more ambulances for the county.

“We have built over 50 health facilities in Wajir within the four years at least every ward has one dispensary or more and also bought more ambulance with 16 currently 16 are operational,” he said.

He said his officers in the health department gave adequate information on the issue of health in Wajir and wondered why they were only picking on issues such as generator breakdowns

He said Wajir has had challenges of power in most of his facilities due to the use of generators instead of electricity.

“We are not on the national grid, we depend on generator driven by fuel, hence rampant breakdowns challenges,” he pleaded.

Weak grounds

Governor Mohamud pleaded for leniency saying out of the 17 charges, only one was substantiated against him, adding that it meant they were frivolous.

During the debate, Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’ said for committee failed to provide serious grounds why the governor should be bundled out of office after dropping all 16 allegations out of the 17 which the county assembly used to impeach him.

He said the health sector has been mismanaged in the entire country and should not be a reason to impeach one governor when all the 46 others and even President Uhuru Kenyatta was at fault.

"These allegations don’t add up, we have mismanagement of the health sector from the National government to all other counties,” said Kajwang’.

Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said accountability is not only by the governor but also by other officers of the county.

“He said out of the allegations the committee looked at, Governor Mohamud most of the charges were dropped,” said Murkomen.

He said the Assembly failed to table any report where they took action against the health executive in Wajir before impeaching the governor.

“Failure of an ambulance to operate or breakdown of a generator cannot make the governor culpable of gross violation of the constitution.”

The Senate committee chaired by Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni had recommended Governor Mohamud over gross violation of the constitution.

The committee, however, absolved the governor from abuse of office and gross misconduct charges, saying the assembly did not provide sufficient evidence.

Mohamud was impeached on Tuesday, April 27, after 37 MCAs voted in favour of his ouster, while 10 opposed his removal.

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