Governor Mwangaza supports the suspension of Meru County after surviving impeachment
Thursday, November 16, 2023
KNA by Dickson Mwiti
Embattled Meru County Governor Kawira Mwangaza has finally yielded to calls by her supporters to have the County suspended and fresh elections held following animosity between the executive and the County Assembly.
This comes a few days after Governor Mwangaza survived an impeachment motion that was presented to the house by 59 out of 69 MCAs with the senate vindicating her.
Speaking to a local radio station on Thursday, November 16, Governor Mwangaza said that several groups including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have been approaching persuading her to support the process but she has been reluctant with an expectation that the MCAs would come back to their senses and agree to support her government.
“The people are not ready to wait any longer since they think that there is a lot of time wastage in the county which would be instead be used in other ways that will benefit them,” she said.
She added: “Many booklets have been printed and various organizations will start circulating them on Monday to collect enough signatures. If they get enough of this and follow the law in the process, I will support them fully”.
She said she was not afraid to go back to the ballot box because she was given the seat by God and the voters and she is sure they will do it again.
“I have done my best despite the hurdles that I have faced since I took over office including three impeachments,” said Governor Mwangaza.
At the same time, a petition to impeach the County Secretary, seven County Executive Committee Members, three Chief Officers, and the Chief of Staff has been presented to the County Assembly waiting for the MCAs to resume their sittings and act on it.
The petition signed by 22 county residents drawn from all various corners of the county also seeks to have all acting chief officers recalled back to their substantive positions and new ones appointed through the assembly.
According to Article 192, a person may petition the President to suspend a county government in any other exceptional circumstances if the county government engages in actions that are deemed to be against the common needs and interests of the citizens of a county.
A petition to suspend a county government in any other exceptional circumstances shall be supported by the signatures of not less than ten percent of the registered voters in the county.
In the case of Meru County which has a total of 772,139 registered voters as per the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) updated records of January 2023, a total of 77,213 voters would be required for the petition to pass the first threshold.
The Constitution further stipulates: ‘The President shall, within fourteen days after receiving a petition against a county government, submit a report on the averments (allegations) made and grounds giving rise to the suspension of a county government before the apex intergovernmental body established under the law governing intergovernmental relations for approval’.
Upon approval by the apex body, the President shall nominate members of a Commission to inquire into and investigate the situation in the county and make recommendations on the suspension of the county government and shall, after approval by the Senate, appoint the members of the Commission by notice in the Kenya Gazette.
The commission is expected to investigate the allegations within three months and write a recommendation to the President on whether to suspend the county government or not.