Score card: Senate impeached three governors in 12th Parliament

Five governors faced impeachment under the 12 Parliament; three were sent home.

In Summary

• Under the 12th parliament's tenure, some survived the process while others were felled.  

• Five governors faced impeachment under the 12 Parliament; three were sent home.

Image: FILE

Kenyans were treated to drama in the 12th Parliament as some county governors battled impeachment motions on the floor of the House. 

The County Governments Act mandates the Senate to receive impeachment motions on governors, hear the charges and vote on whether to oust them or not.

Under the 12th parliament's tenure, some survived the process while others were felled.  

A report by Mzalendo Trust titled the legislative scorecard highlights the proceedings. 

Five governors faced impeachment under the 12 Parliament; three were sent home.

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja was the first to survive the axe on October 24, 2019 after the Senate cleared him of all the charges leveled against him by Members of the County Assembly.

The 11-member Senate committee chaired by Embu Senator Njeru Ndwiga dismissed all charges leveled against him saying they failed to meet the Constitutional threshold for impeachment.

Ndwiga ruled that there would be no further debate or vote to be taken on the matter on the floor of the House. 

However, on January 29, 2020, Senate overwhelmingly voted to impeach Ferdinand Waititu popularly known as Baba Yao as the Kiambu Governor.

This followed two-day proceedings on abuse of office and other charges that were brought against him by the Kiambu County Assembly Members.

Open differences fueled by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) played out on the floor of the House during debate as MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto's Tanga Tanga faction faced off with President Uhuru Kenyatta's Kieleweke faction.

Unlike Waititu, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru survived an impeachment motion against her on June 26, 2020. 

The County Assembly of Kirinyaga had accused her of abuse of office and gross misconduct.

Kirinyaga MCAs also accused the governor of undermined their authority.

Only ten of the 33 MCAs voted to save the governor with the majority, 23, backing her ouster. 

The Senate selected an 11-member committee that conducted a two day hearing into the allegations before dismissing the impeachment. 

On December 17, 2020 Mike Sonko was the second casualty as he was impeached as the second Governor of Nairobi.

Sonko lost the battle after majority of the senators voted to uphold all the four charges leveled against him by city MCAs.

Some 27 legislators voted in favour of each of the charges thus surpassing the Constitutional threshold of 24 votes needed to remove the governor from office.

Sixteen senators voted to oppose each of the charges with two lawmakers – Mutula Kilonzo Jr (Makueni) and Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) - abstaining from the vote.

The embattled governor was accused of gross violation of the Constitution or any other law, abuse of office, gross misconduct and crimes under national law.

The third casualty was Mohamed Abdi Mohamud who was axed on May 17, 2021 as Wajir Governor.

He has since been reinstated by the Court. 

Some 25 Senators out of 47 upheld the impeachment of the Governor over alleged gross violation of the Constitution. Two Senators opposed the impeachment while four abstained.

In a 144-page report, the Special Senate Committee recommended impeachment after substantiating one of the 17 allegations leveled against the governor.

The governor was specifically thrown out over alleged violation of the right to health for the people of Wajir County.

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