Embattled Nakuru County Assembly Speaker Joel Maina Kairu has survived an attempt by some MCAs to impeach him.
The motion to kick him out of the office was defeated on Thursday when it failed to attain the constitutional threshold of 75 per cent support of the MCAs.
During a heated debate that culminated into the voting by 77 members out of the 78 MCAs, those supporting his removal garnered 45 votes while those opposed to his ousting got 32 votes.
However, the majority did not carry the day as the threshold to send the Speaker home is 59 votes which translates to 75 per cent as per the assembly’s standing orders.
Earlier, before the voting in a hushed House, Mr Kairu denied all the accusations levelled against him.
He was accused of embezzlement of public funds, misuse of office and corruption among others.
“I am innocent and I have never been involved in corruption or embezzlement of public money since I was elected as the Speaker nine months ago,” said Mr Kairu.
“This is witch-hunting and I forgive my accusers and I call upon them to join me in developing this great county of Nakuru,” said Mr Kairu after the voting.
He thanked Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama and Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria for supporting a dialogue to end the stalemate.
“These are the true leaders of Nakuru and those who have been fighting me disguising as peacemakers in the county should now be ashamed of themselves,” added Mr Kairu.
Biashara Ward MCA Peter Njoroge Wanyaguthie had moved the motion saying Mr Kairu was not fit to be the Speaker.
“Mr Kairu singlehandedly appointed two nominated MCAs to the County Assembly Service Public Board without following the law,” argued Mr Wanyaguthie.
Budget and Appropriation Committee chairman who is also Elemantaita MCA Ndungu Kamau accused Mr Kairu of highhandedness and lacking leadership qualities.
“We need a Speaker who will unite all the 78 MCAs for the betterment of Nakuru County and not a bully Speaker who wants us to kneel before him,” said Mr Kamau.
But Kivumbini MCA Wilbur Onyango said the motion was ill-timed and lacked merit.
“This is a motion that cannot stand a [in] court of law and should be ignored,” said Mr Onyango.
Kaptembwa Ward rep Peter Mwamba Kajwang defended the Speaker saying as the chairperson of Public Accounts Committee, he had not received any complaints of the embezzlement of public funds against him.
“We should not pre-empt the work of the Auditor-General and if there is any complaint of misuse of money, I am not aware as the PAC chairperson,” said Mr Kajwang.
Kabazi MCA Peter Mbae said he read mischief on the part of some of the MCAs supporting the ouster of the Speaker.
“We have met several times and some of the MCAs had decided to arm-twist the Speaker because of their own vested interests,” said Dr Mbae.