Senators now want MCAs guided on impeachment rules

Friday, May 21st, 2021 00:00 |
CoG Governor Martin Wambora. Photo/PD/File

Senators now want Members of County Assemblies to be trained on how to effectively conduct the impeachment of a governor.

They also want the ten days period given to the House to decide the impeachment of a governor, reviewed.

The proposals are contained in the report of the 11-member committee that recommended the removal of Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mahamud.

Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni, who chaired the special committee, cited an instance where his team issued summons for a witness to appear before them but only had one day within which to execute the summons and for the witness to appear before the committee.

“We are making a strong recommendation to the House that we need to review Standing Order No.75 so that there is adequate time given to the committees to conduct the impeachment hearings,” Omogeni told People Daily yesterday, adding that his committee had proposed 21 days.

Take responsibility

On the impeachment threshold, the committee established that several allegations leveled against the Wajir governor concerned accounting officers who should take personal responsibility especially on issues about public finance management and public procurement.

 “We felt that there are matters that should not reach this House; that the MCAs should exercise their oversight role at the county level, including where there are accusations against specific county accounting officers,” he said.

Marsabit Senator Godana Hargura, who was a member of the committee that recommended Mahamud’s ouster, said the law is clear that if it is a County Executive Committee Member or Chief Officer who has not performed his or her duties, then MCAs have the powers to probe the matter.

“If the find an official culpable, then they have the powers impeach the person or recommend their sacking,” Hargura said.

Accounting officers

In the impeachment of Embu Governor Martin Wambora, for example, he was, among other charges, accused of refusing to sack the County Secretary who had been impeached by the County Assembly.

“In that case, they had done their part and it was the governor who failed to do his part and that is why it was an impeachment ground,” he said.

The senators said in the case of Wajir governor, the County Assembly brought issues which were, in law, the failures of the county executive members or accounting officers, which could not be connected to the governor.

“That is why in cases where we found the law was broken, we did not penalise the governor,” he said.

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