Mwangi wa Iria’s impeachment motion brought before Senate

By: JEREMIAH KIPLANG’AT

Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria’s fate now lies with the Senate after a motion to impeach him was tabled before the House on Tuesday.

The request to send the governor home was officially brought before the House, which has the final say in the impeachment of governors.

Following the request, the Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro has called a special sitting on Wednesday morning.

The sitting will deliberate on the motion and decide whether to form a special committee to look into it or dispense with it in the plenary. Normally, senators do not have a sitting on Wednesday mornings.

The County Government Act gives them both options although the lawmakers have often preferred a select committee looking into the matters then report to the House.

Mr Ethuro told members that he had received a message from the Speaker of the Murang’a Assembly, informing him of the MCA’s decision to impeach the governor.

“The meeting shall be held in the Senate Chamber, Main Parliament BuildingsThe business to be transacted at the sitting shall be the hearing of the charges against Mwangi wa Iria, the governor of Murang’a County,” said the Speaker, who informed the House that the message was delivered to him last Thursday.

GONE TO COURT

The governor, who is the third to face impeachment in the Senate, has already gone to court to block the submission of the Assembly’s proceedings to the Senate but the judge rejected his request for conservatory orders.

Last Wednesday, October 21, 34 out of 49 MCAs voted for his removal for alleged gross misconduct and abuse of office.

The MCAs also accused the county boss of misusing cash and failing to manage the county’s debt.

They accused the executive of spending Sh247 million on advertising against the assembly’s recommendation of Sh7 million.

Already, there are suggestions that the senators have already decided to form a select committee to investigate the claims raised by the MCAs.

The lawmakers have often opted for a special committee to look into the last three impeachment requests that were brought before the House.

Of the three, only one has been successfully prosecuted with others failing the impeachment test.

REMAINS IN OFFICE

Embu Governor Martin Wambora was the first to be impeached by the Senate, although he challenged the decision in court and remains in office waiting for a determination.

His Kericho counterpart, Paul Chepkwony, and Machakos Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala were spared a similar fate as their impeachment by MCAs were dismissed by the House.

When the committee sits, the governor would be expected to appear before it to defend himself. His accusers would also present their accusations to the House team.

In its report, the committee will indicate whether the governor is culpable or not for all the accusations made against him or some of them.

If he is found guilty of any of the accusations and the majority of senators vote in support of the finding, then the governor will stand impeached.