Obado impeachment bid runs into headwinds as MCAs split
Baraka Karama and Hilary Mageka
The plot to impeach embattled Migori Governor Zachary Okoth Obado appears to have run into headwinds.
This was after it emerged yesterday that Ward Reps were split down the middle over the decision.
County Assembly Majority Leader Ken Ooro warned that the party faces a Herculean task to impeach Obado, as some of the Members of County Assembly (MCAs) were tacitly opposed to the plan.
Ooro spoke as a section of Deputy President William Ruto’s allies rallied behind the beleaguered governor, terming the move by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to impeach him “political” and amounting to “double standards”.
“The push is politically motivated. ODM should have allowed MCAs to do their work.
Their action shows they look down upon MCAs,” Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said.
“If you can call MCAs and give them instructions in this day and age of democracy, then it is very unfortunate,” he went on.
Speaking to People Daily , Ooro warned that the MCAs may not be able to marshal the requisite numbers to send Obado packing, owing to the divisions in the Assembly.
Ooro revealed that if anything, majority of the MCAs who attended the Nairobi meeting, which resolved to impeach Obado, opposed the decision.
He noted that 37 out of the 40 ODM MCAs attended the meeting held in Nairobi on Tuesday and chaired by the party national chairman John Mbadi on grounds of the corruption charges he is facing.
“In that meeting, people had divergent views even though the party said we all supported.
I can tell you without fear of contradiction that it will not be that easy,” warned Ooro.
He added that half of the MCAs allied to the party have already stated that they will not support the motion.
“We have three independent MCAs whom we also have to consult. But you see even getting the required number of 43 to make the motion succeed will not be easy,” he said.
He added that before tabling the impeachment motion, they will be required to hold other consultative meetings with the electorate and MCAs from other political parties to reach consensus.
“We have 57 MCAs but remember that not all are from ODM. We also have Jubilee MCAs and other smaller parties who can also decide how they will vote.
For now, we still don’t know when we will even table the motion,” Ooro said.
Speaking during an interview with a vernacular radio station a day after the party announced the decision to impeach him, Obado exuded confidence of winning the battle.
“I know there has been a scheme since 2017 to remove me from office, but since I am with the people, they have failed.
I am sure that just like the other failed, even this one will also fail,” he said.
He accused Mbadi of forcing the MCAs to impeach him against their wishes.
“I don’t know why he hates me. Why hasn’t he done the same to Ojaamong who was also charged in court over corruption,” Obado wondered.
But in a quick rejoinder, Mbadi maintained that the decision to impeach Obado was arrived at after wider consultations within the top organ of the party.
“It is not me but the party that decided. Unlike Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, who was not barred from accessing his office, the court ruled that he stays away and that is why it was decided that he steps aside to clear his name,” Mbadi said.
Another Ruto ally, Laikipia Senator John Kinyua said the ODM leadership was not justified in their call for impeachment as the entire process is political.
“What is haunting Obado is that he is not in very good books with the party. We may pretend about it but it is politics at play,” said Kinyua.
Migori Senator Ochillo Ayacko, however, defended ODM saying it was justified to arrive at the decision to impeach the governor.
“I stand with my party on matters public accountability, and I believe it is an objective position, that every reasonable political party should take,” he said.