Special Senate sitting set over Mwangi wa Iria’s impeachment

By: DENNIS ODUNGA

The Senate will have a special sitting on Friday afternoon to consider a report on the proposed impeachment of Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria.

The report was prepared by a committee chaired by Senator David Musila (Kitui, Wiper) investigating alleged misappropriation of funds.

The team concluded its sittings with the governor and county assembly officials on the matter and was expected to finalise its report on Friday morning ahead of the debate.

Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura, in a message to the House, said an earlier Gazette notice indicating that the senators would converge on November 7 (Saturday) had been revoked.

“Several senators canvassed the matter and urged the Speaker to reconsider the decision to have the special sitting on Saturday,” Mr Gitura told the House on Thursday.

The House will require at least 24 of the 47 senators to adopt the committee report during the session that is scheduled to begin at 3pm.

“The proposed removal from office of the governor shall be the only business and thereafter the Senate shall adjourn to the next sitting day,” Mr Gitura said.

HANDLE THE MATTER

Mr Gitura urged the senators to attend the special sitting. He said committee meetings scheduled for Friday and travels had been cancelled to allow the lawmakers to handle the matter.

The lawmakers were initially divided over whether to hold the sessions on Saturday after some of them expressed fears that they might fail to raise a quorum to determine the matter.

Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi said impeachment of county officials requires adequate time because “it is the most important and most serious business for this House”.

Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki said the committee should be given adequate time to compile a report without the process being rushed.

“My worry is giving qualitative justice to this matter. Proceedings are going on and we must give the committee a day or so to analyse the emerging issues judiciously,” he said.

Senators Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu, TNA) and Peter Mositet (Kajiado, TNA) underscored the importance of senators’ receiving the report well in advance, to familiarise themselves with its details before taking a vote on the matter.

Section 33 of the County Governments Act says that the Speaker of the county assembly should inform the Speaker of the Senate of such resolution to impeach the governor, within two days.

Within seven days of receiving the notice, the Senate will hear the charges against the governor or form a committee to investigate the charges.

When the Senate committee hears the charges and finds that the accusations against the governor are unsubstantiated, there will be no further proceedings and the governor will remain in office.

However, if the committee finds that the charges are substantiated, the whole Senate votes on impeachment.

If a majority of all senators vote to impeach the governor, the governor will cease to hold office.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION