Gachagua survives impeachment

By Grace Maina/Release

It is a reprieve for Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua after the Senate voted to oppose the proposal to impeach him on three charges of impropriety in management of finances and gross violation of the constitution and abuse of office.

Senators who opposed the impeachment said there was no evidence to prove the charges against the governor.

Senators led by Siaya Senator James Orengo said although there were enough grounds to impeach the governor the lawyers for the Nyeri County Assembly relied heavily on the report of the controller of Budget, the Auditor General and their own report.

He faulted the lawyers for failure to prod the Auditor general Edward Ouko when he told the senate that he has not finalized the audit of Nyeri County expenditure for the FY 2014/15.

Deputy Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen said there are issues that can be resolved amicably through mediation instead of impeaching the governor.

Nandi Senator Stephen Sang wondered why the Deputy Governor of Nyeri is missing in the management of county affairs and called on the governor to sit with the County Assembly and the entire executive to resolve the matter of bad blood between leaders in the county.

Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe said whatever the outcome of the motion to impeach the governor, there is neither winners nor losers in the ruling of the Senate. He called for humility among the leadership in Nyeri County.

Garissa Senator Yussuf Haji attributed the problems bedeviling the county to external influence.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale supported the motion saying the governor should be impeached to send a strong signal to other governors mismanaging the county resources.

Majority Leader Kithure took issue with National Assembly MPs from Nyeri County who had celebrated the impeachment of the governor by the Nyeri County Assembly but added that the Senate is not a lynch mob, but rather it is guided by the law.

Auditor General Edward Ouko had earlier absolved Nyeri Governor from culpability after he told the Special Sitting of the Senate that Governor Nderitu Gachagua cannot be blamed for decisions taken jointly by the CECs of Nyeri County Government.

The Controller of Budget Agnes Nangira Odhiambo has also admitted that there is a stalemate between the Nyeri County Assembly and the County Executive on the passage of the Budget, but said a meeting has been scheduled for Friday this week to resolve the matter as the constitution gives her powers to do so.

She maintained that the matter can be resolved amicably as opposed to impeachment.

Gachagua had accused his political opponent and former Mathira MP Ephraim Maina for his woes. He claims that Maina whom he beat for the gubernatorial seat in the last election is keen on ensuring that the petition is upheld by the Senate.

Last week members of the National Assembly urged the Senate to ensure the impeachment proposal is carried.


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