All eyes are now on Governor Lee Kinyanjui after Nakuru County Assembly endorsed the sacking of embattled Roads executive Lucy Wanjiku Kariuki.
Ms Kariuki becomes the first executive to be impeached in the assembly since the advent of devolution.
The first executive to be sacked was Ms Halima Gababa. Ms Gababa was the Gender, Youth and Sports executive.
Following the assembly’s verdict last week, Governor Kinyanjui’s administration now has Dr Immaculate Njuthe Maina as the only female executive.
The constitution requires at least one third of the executive to be women. This means that Governor Kinnyanjui’s government is not properly constituted.
The governor will be forced to replace the two women executives before anyone moves to court to contest the composition of his government.
The 78-member House, which had faced lack of quorum, was full to capacity when the Roads executive impeachment motion was tabled in the House on July 16.
Out of the 78 members, 71 were in the House to ensure the former Kenya Pipeline engineer is sent packing. This is an indication that the MCAs were determined to stamp their authority.
At least 49 MCAs endorsed the sacking of Ms Kariuki while 21 opposed her ouster. One did not vote, while six ward reps were absent.
Unlike when the House business was disrupted after MCAs turned chaotic after a disagreement on the mode of voting, this time around, the orderly members finished the business of the House in less than an hour.
Speaker Joel Maina Kairu, who last year survived an impeachment motion, described the process as the most democratic.
“Having conducted a very peaceful election, the motion has passed and adopted the report of the ad-hoc committee that investigated allegations against Roads executive Ms Lucy Wanjiku Kariuki,” said Mr Kairu.
He said pursuant to Standing Orders 67 sub section 10, of the county government Act, he will forward the verdict to Governor Kinyanjui for action.
“According to the county government Act, I shall promptly present to the governor the resolutions and the executive shall be considered dismissed,” said Mr Kairu.
It now remains to be seen whether Mr Kinyanjui will respect the wishes of the majority of the MCAs.
With the impeachment of the Roads executive, the MCAs were seen to be sending a message to other executives to pull up their socks.
Mr Kinyanjui has in the past brushed shoulders with the MCAs and his decision to implement or reject the verdict of the House might open another round of political confrontations.
The MCAs, who vowed to send Ms Kariuki home, said they will not allow the governor to transfer the executive to another department.
“The assembly must be respected because it is the voice of the residents and we shall not accept ‘failures’ to be transferred to other dockets,” said Flamingo Ward MCA Eddy Kiragu.
Kaptembwo Ward MCA Peter Mwamba Kajwang, who moved the impeachment motion, said that the House will not relent in sending other executives home if they fail to perform.
“This is a warning to other executives that they either shape up or ship out. We shall intensify our oversight role because we want to ensure the development wheel in Nakuru County gathers momentum,” said Mr Kajwang.
But it was the fear of the backlash at the grassroots which made the MCAs turn out in large numbers to kick out Ms Kariuki.
Several demonstrations against the sitting MCAs had been witnessed across the 55 wards due to dilapidated road network.
“The residents are hostile to all the MCAs as we are unable to provide solutions to dilapidated roads as a result of poor leadership by the executive. That is why we turned out in large numbers to ensure we send Ms Kariuki home. We hope Governor Kinyanjui will nominate a committed executive to handle this critical docket,” said Elementaita Ward Rep and Leader of Majority Moses Ndungu Kamau.
Ms Kariuki had been rejected by the assembly’s Appointment Committee led by Speaker Kairu last year. The committee then claimed that she was unfit for the position.
However, after lobbying by some MCAs, she was endorsed.