Proposal seeks to fire governor, deputy if impeached

Governors at the IBEC meeting
Governors at the IBEC meeting

Governors who are impeached could be leave office together with their deputies and the county executives if a proposal to amend the impeachment process becomes sails through.

The proposal that was the subject of debate during an Inter-governmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) meeting in Nairobi on Tuesday seeks to alter the governance structure in the counties and place full responsibility on governors.

The proposal drafted by the legal committee of the IBEC may usher in a season of by-elections in case a governor is impeached by the county assembly or the Senate.

The proposal has faced stern opposition from county bosses who see it as a pernicious attempt to curtail their administrative roles and ensure they play to the gallery.

So dire was the matter that it surfaced during a special sitting between governors and Deputy President William Ruto held at his office in Karen on Tuesday.

In the current situation, should a governor be impeached, the deputy governor takes over for the remainder of the term with county government’s cabinet also remains intact.

The new proposal, however, will hand the county administrative mandate to the speaker of the county assembly, in case a governor is impeached, pending a by-election.

Governors claimed that the proposal is detrimental to devolution adding that it could be used by their detractors to disrupt county government operations.

The governors argued that the county and national governments are interdependent noting that the process of impeaching governors should be similar to that of impeaching the President.

According to Article 146 of the Constitution, if the President is impeached, the Deputy President takes over for the remainder of the term with the cabinet staying in place.

In his address after the meeting, Ruto called for clarity in the process of impeaching governors, to insulate it from malice and witch hunt.

“We need clarity in matters to do with impeachment of persons who are elected. The courts will determine the thresholds and mechanism of impeachment of public officials so that we eliminate any elements of witch hunt.”

The proposal has been referred to the Commission on Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) chaired by Charles Nyachae and Attorney General Githu Muigai for legal interpretation, to ensure it conforms with the Constitution.

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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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