Alleged graft cases take sheen off what seemed to be coveted elective position
Previously coveted due to the power and huge resources associated with it, the position of governor has become increasingly hot following frequent arrests of county chiefs over corruption amidst lingering impeachment motions.
If the “Excellencies” are not cooling their heels in prisons after arraignment over alleged theft of public resources, they are fighting impeachments from vicious Ward Representatives, responding to audit queries at the Senate, or being tried for impeachment.
Several governors have been paraded in court over corruption leading to impeachment of one them while four have barred from accessing their offices.
Others are under investigations by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) while others are engaged in vicious fights with MCAs who have threatened to impeach them even as the county chiefs accuse Ward Reps of using such schemes for extortion.
Governors already in court include Tharaka Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki who was on Tuesday charged with theft, Okoth bado (Migori) who is also facing an impeachment, Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu), Mike Sonko (Nairobi) and Sospeter Ojamoong (Busia).
Kericho Governor Prof Paul Chepkwony who in 2014 survived an impeachment attributed the ongoing onslaught on governors to the high stakes brought about by the responsibilities assigned to them as well as intense scrutiny by the many oversight bodies with a spotlight on them.
“That (being put on the spotlight) is bound to continue, the position of the governor is subjected to a lot of scrutiny and oversight and it is a good thing because that is how to protect public money and so governors do not have a problem with that kind of oversight if due process is followed,” he said.
Speaking to People Daily yesterday, Chepkwony blamed the situation on what he considers a misunderstanding of the role of governors.
“The governor’s seat has not been understood well. The governor is a political principal or the “CEO” of the county but the people who are the accounting officers are the Chief Officers.
When things happen in counties, it’s said that governors who have stolen but governors not sign cheques or deal with money,” he said.
EACC boss Twalib Mbarak has warned that some of the governors already under investigation may not have nothing to celebrate during Christmas because several are staring at imminent arrest over graft cases.