68 of 69 Meru MCAs support Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s impeachment
Meru Members of the County Assembly have begun considering a motion to impeach Governor Kawira Mwanagaza on five grounds including gross violation of the Constitution and abuse of office.
The motion moved by Abogeta West Ward MCA Denis Kiogora, the Minority Whip is supported by 68 of the 69 members of the Assembly.
According to the impeachment motion seen by NTV, the MCA alleges that Governor Mwangaza has contravened the Public Finance Management Act, been involved in misconduct on the nomination of County Executive Committee members, nepotism, illegal appointments, unlawful dismissals, and usurpation of Constitutional and statutory functions of county organs.
“The Governor has engaged in multiple discreditable acts that severally and collectively amount to (i) gross violation of the Constitution, (ii) gross violation of various national and county laws, (iii) abuse of office, and (iv) gross misconduct,” reads the motion in part.
In the motion, the MCA says Mwangaza exercised nepotism and disregarded the Constitution and the County Governments Act in her appointments.
The motion points to the appointment of her husband Murega Baicu as the Patron of Meru Youth Service and Meru Hustlers Ambassador without conducting a transparent and competitive recruitment process.
The MCA says the Governor failed to submit the name of Baicu to the Assembly for vetting as well as disregarding the criteria for the establishment of offices within the county public service.
The legislator also took issue with the reappointment of Rufus Miriti as the County Secretary without the approval of the Assembly.
He further claims the appointments of Munene Samaritan, Earnest Mutembei, and Henry Mzungu were unmerited since the three are unqualified to hold county offices.
The three were appointed as Directors of Special Programs, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Administration and Communication respectively.
The motion indicates on September 22, Mwangaza appointed firefighters at a public rally at Timau once again without conducting transparent and competitive recruitment.
Violation of Public Finance Management laws
According to the impeachment motion, the Governor has violated the Public Finance Management Act of 2012 and the Public
Officer Ethics Act.
Kiogora claims Mwangaza commanded the Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital to spend all revenue at the source, which is illegal.
According to the law, any money raised or received by or on behalf of the County must be deposited into the County Revenue Fund.
He also claims she granted fee waivers at Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital, despite the fact that the County Executive Committee Member for Finance is the only person legally authorised to offer such waivers.
Furthermore, they state she has directed county officers to advertise Baite TV a company they say is owned by the Governor through her close relatives as proxies.
“Directing county government officers to participate in furthering and advancing the interests of Baite TV, a media station owned by Mwangaza Advertiser Limited,” reads the motion.
Article 181 of the Constitution provides the grounds for the removal of a county governor as; a gross violation of the Constitution or any other law or where there are serious reasons to believe that the county governor has committed a crime under national or international law.
A governor can also be impeached for abuse of office or gross misconduct and physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of the office of the county governor.
When a motion to impeach a governor is tabled, the county assembly speaker informs the speaker of the Senate within two days.
The speaker of the Senate convenes a Senate meeting within seven days of receiving the communication. The hearing is to hear the county assembly’s complaints against the governor. The Senate then establishes a special committee comprised of eleven of its members to investigate the subject.
The Senate’s 11-member special committee should then investigate the problem and report back to the Senate within ten days. It should report whether it finds evidence to support the accuser’s allegations against the governor.
During the committee’s investigation, the governor has the right to appear and be represented before it.
If a majority of the Senate decide to uphold the impeachment allegation, the governor is removed from office. If the delegations vote to reject the impeachment accusation, the Senate speaker shall notify the corresponding county assembly speaker.
After three months from the day the Senate votes against the impeachment allegations, any member of the county assembly may bring the same charges before the assembly.
The governor continues to serve as governor pending the conclusion of the impeachment procedure.