Nyamira MCAs to table motion to impeach Governor Nyaribo

Some 24 out of the 34 MCAs signed the impeachment motion.

In Summary
  • The motion must be supported by at least 23 MCAs for it to sail through to the Senate for a possible impeachment of the governor.
  • Nyaribo, who spoke on Sunday during a church service, accused the MCAs of abusing their constitutional powers of impeachment.
Nyamira County Governor Amos Nyaribo.
Nyamira County Governor Amos Nyaribo.
Image: FILE

A motion seeking the removal of besieged Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo from office will be tabled before the County Assembly on Tuesday.

Efforts by some leaders from the Gusii region to find an amicable resolution to the issues raised by Nyamira County Assembly MCAs have flopped with the mover expected to move the motion in the afternoon.

The governor had over the weekend welcomed a call by religious leaders to mediate between him and the MCAs, saying he was ready for talks with the local lawmakers.

Some 24 out of the 34 MCAs of Nyamira County Assembly signed the impeachment motion and last Thursday validated their signatures with the clerk and vowed not to turn back.

The motion must be supported by at least 23 MCAs for it to sail through to the Senate for possible impeachment of the governor.

The Senate will then either form a committee of 11 members to probe the governor or try him through the plenary route.

On Monday, the proponents of the impeachment motion vowed to soldier on with their push saying the governor must be shown the door for alleged failed leadership.

Bomanyatuta MCA Julius Matwere insisted that the motion is on even as he faulted the governor for failing to embrace dialogue.

“We believe those spearheading the talks have gotten the reason why we are after impeaching the governor. We will table the motion. Above all, service delivery has been poor. The governor has failed to hold talks on how to improve service delivery,” said Matwere.

Speaking after holding talks with National Assembly Majority Whip Silvanus Osoro in Kisii on Monday, Matwere and a group of MCAs backing the motion insisted that they have enough grounds to send Nyaribo home.

''We are ready to sit for dialogue if only the governor listens to us. All we need is service delivery for the people who elected us. But because there is nobody to listen to us, the motion is on,'' he said.

Osoro said the MCAs had raised several issues that need to be addressed.

“They have signed the intended motion, and for sure they have the numbers. This means that the governor will have to call his house into order. We are calling for positive engagement. They believe they have enough ground, but I request for and encourage them to embrace dialogue at this stage.”

The MP who is allied to the ruling Kenya Kwanza coalition said the leaders should continue to talk with each other.

“Let those in power not throw up their hands. They need to be accommodating. But even with that, we will continue pushing for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms,” he said.

The motion is backed by some of the key house leaders including Deputy Speaker Thaddeaus Nyabaro, Deputy Leader of Majority Duke Masira, and Deputy Minority Leader Miinda Riechi.

On Sunday Nyaribo, who may become the second governor to face impeachment since last year's general election, has insisted that he will not be intimidated even as he called for dialogue.

The Senate in June rejected the impeachment motion against Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol while in December it also saved Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza. 

Nyaribo, who spoke on Sunday during a church service, accused the MCAs of abusing their constitutional powers of impeachment.

''The impeachment clause was meant to tame wayward governors who have the proclivity to run down public institutions and resources. I have not done any of the violations outlined in the impeachment clause,'' he said.

Nyaribo was elected on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) party ticket that is aligned with the Azimio la Umoja coalition.

What is Impeachment?

Impeachment is the act of charging a public official with misconduct often with the aim of having the official dismissed from office.

Impeachment is a process, it does not in itself remove the official from office.

Impeachment is initiated by the Assembly and decided by the Senate.

Grounds for removing a governor from office by impeachment

According to article 181 of the constitution, a governor can be removed due to:

Gross violation of the Constitution or any other law.

Where there are serious reasons to believe that the County Governor has committed a crime under national or international law.

Abuse of office or gross misconduct.

Physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of the office of the county governor.

What does impeachment entail?

Section 33 of the County Governments Act contains guides:

MCAs table a motion to remove the county governor on notice to the speaker relying on the grounds stipulated in article 181 of the constitution.

A Member of the County Assembly tables a motion which must be supported by two-thirds of MCAs before the motion is moved.

After the motion goes through, the county assembly speaker informs the speaker of the Senate within two days of the impeachment.

The information is in writing and refers to the county assembly resolution passed to impeach the governor.

The governor continues to perform the functions of the office pending the outcome of the impeachment process.

What happens next?

The speaker of the Senate then convenes a sitting to hear the charges the county assembly brings against a governor.

A special committee of 11 senators can be formed to investigate the charges levelled against the governor and report to the Senate within ten days.

If there is no proof against the allegations, then the impeachment inquiry will be dismissed.

But if the committee finds proof, the Senate will proceed to vote on impeachment charges after assurance that the governor has received a fair hearing.

A governor holds the right to appear and be represented by a lawyer before the committee during the investigations.

A governor will cease to hold office if the majority of the senators vote in favour of the impeachment.

If they vote against it, the Senate Speaker will notify the County assembly Speaker and the governor continues to hold office.

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