Impeachments still on the way, governors warned

Monday, July 6th, 2020 00:00 |
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (right) with Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa address the media in Nairobi yesterday. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

Hillary Mageka and David Macharia

Members of  County Assemblies (MCAs) have warned that more governors could be on the chopping board, if they continue plundering public resources and violating the Constitution.

The MCAs claim impeachments lined up by various assemblies are not personal vendetta, malicious or salacious, but meant to ensure prudent management of public funds and respect for the rule of law.

Responding to Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Council of Governors (CoG) Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya, who both urged ward representatives to go slow on county chiefs and instead concentrate on the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, they said only the guilty are afraid.

“The anti-impeachment calls by the CS Devolution and CoG chairman are misplaced and baseless,” the County Assemblies Forum (CAF) chairman Ndegwa Wahome told People Daily on Sunday.

“As a forum, we are left wondering why impeachment motions against governors have caused jitters, yet there have been other leaders removed from office in the same process,” he added.

CAF is the coordinating body of the 47 County Assemblies in Kenya. Wahome, who is the Nyandarua County Assembly Speaker, noted that in the past, County Executive Committees and holders of House leadership positions have been kicked out of office in a similar way but with nobody crying foul. 

“What is so special with governors?” The Speaker posed.   He noted that the rift between governors and MCAs is caused by the former’s condescending approach to issues, and the desire to treat the assemblies as the inferior arm of the county government.

The Nyandarua Speaker  further stated that county assemblies have a clear mandate in accordance with articles 76 and 260 of the Constitution. 

“Governors have nothing to fear if they have neither trespassed nor transgressed the law if they have done no wrong, they will just be set free to continue working for their counties,” he observed.

 Contentious issues

At the same time, he also faulted some governors for going to the media and holding meetings among themselves instead of engaging the county assemblies to iron out the contentious issues.

“And I wonder to whom they are talking, whom they are listening to and what solutions they want to find if they think assemblies are the solutions and they don’t want to engage them,” he noted.

The Speaker cited Kirinyaga, Bungoma and West Pokot  as counties where the governors are intimidating and harassing MCAs. 

To address what the governors have been terming ‘simple administrative issues’, Wahome has proposed that county bosses and their executives attend to assemblies’ inquiries and surrender the required documents.

But if they fail to do so, he said MCAs will have no option but to use the impeachment route, which according to him is an oversight tool.

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