Kenya: Senate Endorses 11-Member Committee to Probe Mwangaza Ouster

Nairobi — Eleven Senators will spearhead Senate’s trial of Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza after the Senate approved the establishment of a select committee to investigate and file a report on her impeachment.

This is after 33 Senators voted in favor of a committee process against 2. No abstentions were recorded.

The motion to have the committee probe Governor Mwangaza was moved by Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot and seconded by Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo.

Senators listed in the committee are: Boni Khalwale (Kakamega), Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Karungo Thangwa (Kiambu), Esther Okenyuri (Nominated), Ali Roba (Mandera), Peris Tobiko (Nominated), Gicheru Oketch (Migori), Joseph Kamau (Lamu), Edwin Sifuna (Nairobi), Agnes Kavindu (Machakos) and Johnes Mwaruma (Taita Taveta).

“The committee is expected to report to the Senate within ten days, on whether it finds the particulars of the allegations against the Governor to have been substantiated . The committee should therefore report back to this House on or before Friday 30th December 2022,” Senate Speaker Amason Kingi ordered.

The proposal to have the matter prosecuted through a committee was opposed by Senator Gloria Orwoba, saying she is not convinced that the selected persons will meet the dynamics of the matter at hand.

“First of all, the impeachment motion of this particular governor touches on a lot of gender issues and when you look at the committee, a committee of 11 people who are going to impeach or not, a woman governor only has 3 women,” she stated.

Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah had also risen on a point of order and faulted the Senate for overstepping on its mandate in regards to impeachment proceedings.

“I’m afraid we are just about to violate the constitution of Kenya, the way previous Houses have been violating the constitution. Impeachment proceedings are a preserve for the presidency,” Omtatah stated.

Governor Mwangaza is facing accusations of nepotism, illegal appointments, unlawful dismissal of the constitution and statutory functions of county organs.

The particulars of these allegations include appointment of her husband to county offices, roadside appointment of county workers at Timau, Nkubu and Kianjae.

She accused MCAs of cartelism, blackmail, greed, corruption and intimidation. Governor Mwangaza also accused the ward legislators of organizing a violent demonstrations at the Assembly presets and violating public finance laws.

The MCAs accused the Governor of directing Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital to spend all revenue at source, directing county officers to participate in advancing the interest of Baite TV, a private media station, and misconduct relating to the nominating of County Executive Committee Members.

Mwangaza’s is the first impeachment hearing in the 13th Parliament.