Meru governor Kawira Mwangaza has yet again survived a second attempt to impeach her.
This is after the majority of the Senators Thursday threw out seven charges leveled against her in a vote that took place past midnight after two days of intense and emotional proceedings that saw the governor break down occasionally as members defended her.
“The result of the division indicates the senate has not upheld any of the charges. Therefore, the Senate has failed to remove from office the governor by impeachment. The governor accordingly continues to hold office,” Speaker Amason Kingi said at 12.34 a.m. while announcing the official results.
Mwangaza while pleading her case before the vote asked for forgiveness, pledging to work with the ward representatives and other leaders to unite the people of Meru.
After the final submissions by the lawyers, Mwangaza who was asked about what she would do if she got a second chance said “I’m here today pleading with this house, and I want to say it in swahili “mateso ni mengi lakini mungu tusaidie”. If I’ve wronged anyone in this house, in Meru and in Kenya, I pray for forgiveness”.
She blamed external forces for her woes “As I stand here, I know that the MCAs have no issues with the governor apart from the external forces forcing them to cause a lot of confusion”
How the senators voted
- Misappropriation and misuse of public resources- 28 senators voted NO
- Nepotism and unethical practices, 42 voted NO
- Bullying, vilification, and demeaning of other leaders, 44 voted NO
- Illegal appointment and usurpation of statutory powers, 26 voted NO
- Contempt of Court, 44 voted NO
- Illegally naming a road after her husband, 43 voted NO
- Contempt of the assembly, 36 voted NO
The impeachment motion was tabled by the Majority leader Evans Mawira and was supported by 59 out of 69 MCAs, while 10 members were absent during the voting on Wednesday, October 25.
Section 33 of the County Governments Act provides that an impeachment hearing can either be handled by a special committee or the Senate plenary.
Mrs Mwangaza who faced the Senate plenary is one of the seven female governors elected on August 9, 2022, garnering 209,148 votes and floored the incumbent Kiraitu Murungi and the current Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi.
The Meru MCAs had accused the embattled Governor of misappropriation and misuse of County resources by withdrawing County funds under the guise of paying for various supplies by the Governor’s relatives who are not eligible to bid for contracts.
Mwangaza is also accused of nepotism. The Ward Representatives alleged that the Governor appointed one Edwin Mutuma Murangiri (her husband’s nephew) as the CEO of Meru Youth Service and Acting Chief Office, Ministry of Finance.
The MCAs further accused Mwangaza of bullying, vilification and demeaning other leaders in the public.
Illegal appointments and usurpation of statutory powers, contempt of court, illegal naming of a public road after her husband and contempt of the Assembly are also some of the accusations levelled against the Governor.