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Kiambu MCAs seek to remove acting Governor James Nyoro

Tuesday December 3 2019

Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro

Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro during launch of the construction of Githurai Market on September 28, 2019. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BRIAN OKINDA
By BRIAN OKINDA
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Trouble continues to dog Kiambu County as a section of MCAs have moved a motion to remove acting governor James Karanja Nyoro from office.

They cite gross violation of the Constitution and the County Governments Act in Mr Nyoro's assumption of the office, abuse of office, and physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of the office of the deputy governor.

This turn of events comes as Governor Ferdinand Babayao Waititu faces a similar tussle, with residents pressing for his impeachment for alleged corruption.

Mr Waititu was in late July barred by an anti-corruption court from accessing the county headquarters after being implicated in graft.

The governor, his wife and senior county government officials, are accused of irregularly awarding tenders worth Sh588 million.

PROCEDURE

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In a submission for Mr Nyoro’s removal, Witeithie MCA Julius Macharia Taki held that in accordance with Standing Order 86, as read together with Article 179, 181 and 182 of the Constitution and section 33 of the County Governments Act 2012, a vacancy in the office of the governor or deputy governor arising as such, shall be filled as provided for by Article 182 of the Constitution.

“But immediately following the court ruling, in respect to the matter before the courts involving Governor Waititu, the deputy is on record as having briefed members of the County Executive Committee and thereafter holding a press conference declaring that he was the acting governor,” Mr Taki said.

Mr Nyoro’s action, the MCA indicated, was taken without any express instructions from the governor as envisaged in the Constitution.

He noted that the provision for acting as a governor is only provided in Article 179 (5) of the Constitution, which indicates that when the county governor is absent, the deputy governor shall act as the governor.

“James Nyoro has been on record stating that he is an acting governor and doing so without written authority from anyone or any court of law, even despite the courts themselves pointing out to him that he cannot undertake any functions of this nature” Mr Taki said.

PUBLIC FUNCTIONS

Mr Taki also took issue with Mr Nyoro presiding over public meetings including the one held on Madaraka Day, without any express instructions from Mr Waititu.

He said this actions constituted blatant breach of the Constitution, which he took oath of office to uphold.

“He cannot therefore be trusted to uphold this Constitution in its written law and in its spirit,” he said, maintaining that a deputy governor’s role is that of deputising the governor and that he/she may only act on the mandate or responsibilities given by the governor.

APPOINTMENTS

The deputy governor, the ward representative continued, cannot exercise the powers of the governor to nominate, appoint or dismiss, which are assigned to the governor under the Constitution.

“But despite these provisions, through a Gazette notice in August, the deputy governor attempted to re-assign duties. These actions were a clear violation of Section 36 (5), which bars him from undertaking such actions," he said.

He also accused Mr Nyoro of publicly stating that he was unable to work as a deputy governor with Mr Waititu, a violation of the trust and duty Kiambu residents assigned him and the county boss when they elected them.

The Constitution dictates that if a vacancy occurs in the office of county governor and that of deputy county governor, or if the deputy county governor is unable to act, the speaker of the county assembly shall act as governor.

An election to the office of county governor shall then be held within 60 days after the speaker assumes office.

The person who assumes office in this case shall, unless otherwise removed under the Constitution, hold office until the newly elected governor assumes control following the subsequent election.