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February 21, 2019

32 Nyeri MCAs impeach Governor Gachagua

Nyeri County assembly in session on Friday.
Nyeri County assembly in session on Friday.

Nyeri MCAs have impeached Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua.

Gachagua was sent home by 32 MCAs out of the 46 members yesterday after a five-hour debate.

The governor was impeached over 12 grounds, which include abuse of office, gross violation of constitution in procurement, gross misconduct and corruption in the county government.

This marked the climax of wrangles between the MCAs and the governor who has been at the loggerhead with the ward reps.

All Nyeri MPs have washed their hands over the matter and told Gachagua to carry his own cross.

On Thursday night, the 32 MCAs spent the night at the assembly after they feared that some goons had been hired to block their entry at the assembly for impeachment debate yesterday.

They were seen in the morning brushing their teeth and washing their faces after sleeping in their cars.

A nominated woman MCA spent the night inside the boot of a vehicle with her two-month-old baby.

There was more drama in the assembly in the morning, when Gachagua’s lawyers Peter Wanyama and Mansur Esar were denied entry to the chambers.

Wanyama represented Governor Martin Wambora when Embu MCAs sought to impeach him.

Speaker Mwangi Mugo ruled that the governor can only appear in person to defend himself in the assembly.

Mugo even sent the serjeant-at-arms outside for eight minutes to look for the governor, so he could defend himself.

About 10 MCAs who were on Gachagua side failed to participate in the voting. They only participated in the debate and went outside during the voting session.

There was tight security inside and outside the assembly for the better part of the day.

Earlier, Kiganjo-Mathari MCA Baragu Mutahi said more than Sh846 million cannot be accounted for as per Auditor General's report of 2016.

He said the monthly report released by the Controller of Budget on July 11, showed more over Sh 846.7 million could not be accounted for.

“As a result, the county lost colossal amounts of money in other shoddy deals, including procurement and splitting of the county tenders contrary to the Constitution,” Mutahi said.

He said the Karson House, which is being used as county offices was renovated for Sh81.3 million.

Mutahi said Gachagua is undermining their legislative role by failing to assent to the budget passed by the house.

“Due to the inefficiency of the county government under the leadership of Governor Gachagua, the county used more than Sh10 million to refurbish a private building for county offices. This figure would have been enough to construct offices on the county land,” he said.

Deputy speaker Joel Gichuru supported the motion, saying procurement has been done illegally.

Wamagana MCA Jesse Kamuri said Sh67 million is enough to build a three-storey building with 31 offices.

Other allegations against the governor include disregarding the county assembly, lack of prudence in use of public funds, failure to establish the county budget and economic forum and failure to consider or assent the county bills by the county assembly among others.

This will now move to the Speaker of the Senate, who will receive the report within two days and thereafter form a committee to investigate the matter.

Gachagua has said he will fight over his impeachment in the Senate, the High Court and the Supreme Court.

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