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Lobbying intensifies as MCAs set to table Ngilu impeachment motion

Monday July 13 2020
Ngilu

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By KITAVI MUTUA

The motion for Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu’s impeachment will be tabled Wednesday following the High Court's decision against stopping the process.

Justice Weldon Korir’s ruling last week, okaying the motion by majority leader Peter Kilonzo, kicked off a series of meetings, with both sides lobbying for support to either pass or defeat the motion.

Ms Ngilu is facing a spirited effort for her removal from office that was engineered by MCAs in the Wiper party, whose leader is politician Kalonzo Musyoka.

In the 54-member county assembly, Wiper enjoys the majority of 30 elected and nominated MCAs but two members - Kasee Musya (Kisasi) and James Musyoka (Kiomo Kyethani) broke ranks with their party and announced they'll oppose the motion.

With 28 members remaining, the mover must win the support of eight MCAs from other parties to gather the requisite two thirds majority of 36 votes to see the motion through.

NGILU’S CAMP

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Ms Ngilu's party, Narc, has 12 members but enjoys the support of MCAs from smaller political parties and independent lawmakers.

Members of the governor's camp say they have the backing of about 25 MCAs and are sure the motion will fail but Mr Kilonzo said his camp has more than 36 supporters.

Lobbying for numbers has intensified with a caucus of 10 women MCAs throwing their weight behind Governor Ngilu.

The ward reps, led by Anastasia Mwathi of Mutito/Kaliku ward, said the motion is ill-motivated and aimed at distracting Ms Ngilu from the goals in her manifesto.

Ms Mwathi noted that MCAs must be allowed to represent the interests of the people who elected them, not political parties.

"We can't allow bullying by big parties against a leader who was popularly elected by more than 170,000 votes" she told the Nation on Monday.

She said their proponents will face a huge embarrassment as the impeachment bid will collapse for lack of numbers.

The ten female MCAs include six from Ms Ngilu's party, three from small political parties and an independent.

The assembly has 18 women MCAs out of the 54 elected and nominated members.

WARNING

US-based law scholar Makau Mutua waded into the controversy at the weekend, criticising the assembly for seeking to oust the governor.

In a tweet, Prof Mutua urged MCAs to put Kitui people before “politics of personal destruction".

"Think before you commit irreversible errors. Respect women leadership," the law don said.

Meanwhile, Speaker George Ndotto has summoned Ms Ngilu to appear before the assembly Wednesday with strict instructions to bring only two legal counsels.

In a letter dated July 9, Mr Ndotto said if the governor chooses to appear in person, only two lawyers will be allowed at the county assembly grounds.

The letter rekindles memories of last week's scuffle that saw Governor Ngilu's lawyers assaulted and thrown out of the assembly by orderlies.

Lawyers Martin Oloo, Morris Kimuli and Stanley Kiima had gone to respond to summons issued by the Speaker.

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