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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Governors move to court to seek interpretation on impeachment threshold

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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Rattled by recent impeachments, Council of Governors will Tuesday move to court to seek an interpretation on the threshold for removal of governors from office.

The governors, who a now reading malice and persecution in the recent cases, also want the courts to establish the rationale of night Gazette notices on the removal from office of impeached Governors in the wake of claims possible abuse of the government printer.

The senate in particular, in a record, one year has sent packing three governors through impeachment and ensured their chance of seeking redress is denied through the night Gazette notices.

The governors claim senators, as well as Members of County Assemblies, have turned into ‘lynch mobs’ and sent three governors packing on flimsy grounds.

While protesting what they termed a worrying trend, the CoG has cited the impeachment of former governors Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) and Mohamed Mohamud (Wajir), all who have seemingly been politically persecuted, they said the impeachment process must be anchored in legitimacy and impartiality.

This even as impeachment motions are being mooted against Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma), Ali Korane (Garissa), Amos Nyaribo (Nyamira), James Nyoro (Kiambu), and Vihiga’s Wilberforce Otichillo.

Sources at COG offices now say that the decision to move to court is the last resort arrived on Friday during the extraordinary meeting that discussed among other issues the impeachment of Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mahamud.

Governors who attended the meeting including the ousted Wajir boss Mohamed Abdi claimed the current process is political and had turned governors into victims of their respective county assemblies and the Senate.

The increased impeachment motions against them by Members of the County Assemblies and upheld by the Senate, as well as the impeachment threshold, county bosses said the courts must establish the right threshold of impeaching them.

Emerging from the council meeting on Friday, CoG Vice-Chairman Governor James Ongwae decried that the threshold of removing other holders of public office such as MPs and those of the County Assembly was seemingly higher than that of governors.

“The threshold for the impeachment of governors is becoming lower. We are getting into situations where procedural and administrative duties that don’t fall under the governor are actually impeachable,” Ongwae told journalists at Delta House on Friday, Westlands Nairobi.

“The council shall engage relevantly institutions to streamline court pronouncements with the law so that the impeachment process can be anchored in legitimacy and impartiality,” he added.

Ongwae opined that the governor’s forum will seek to be enjoined in the case by former Wajir boss Mohamed Abdi challenging his removal and installation of Ahmed Ali Muktar as his successor.

“While we appreciate the fact that impeachment is both legal and a political process, the rule of law should prevail while undertaking the same,” said Ongwae who is the Kisii Governor.

The county chiefs underscored the need for all bodies involved to be guided by the Constitution and principles laid down by the courts on the threshold of impeachment.

CoG has asked the oversight bodies to remain cognizant of the legal principles surrounding impeachment so that the excise is not abused.

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