Governors have warned that devolution has come under a new threat following the passing of an impeachment motion against one of their counterparts.
The Council of Governors, however, vowed to fight the new avenue which they claimed was being taken advantage of by their rivals, stating that due process should be followed before any county chief was removed from office.
The council’s secretary, Mr Kenneth Lusaka, was categorical that the passage of a motion of impeachment against Embu Governor Nyaga Wambora was just the beginning of such manipulations which, he said, had to be stopped.
“This (impeachment motion) is not only a threat to governors but to the entire process of devolution. It must be closely watched and care should be taken to ensure everything goes to the final stage as provided for in the Constitution,” he said by phone.
Mr Lusaka, who is the Bungoma Governor, argued that impeachment motions posed a threat to the stability of county governments which were yet to stand on their feet.
He noted that the first batch of governors had laid the foundation and should only be kicked out of office on factual grounds as provided for in the Constitution.
“The process is supposed to be watertight and the accused persons have to be given a chance to defend themselves. If it continues, it will be a threat to governors who are facing daunting challenges in the formative stages of county governments because it will require the whole process to start from scratch,” he said.
Mr Lusaka spoke two days after the Embu Assembly passed a motion of impeachment against Mr Wambora and his deputy, Ms Dorothy Nditi, over allegations of corruption and abuse of office.
Mr Wambora’s fate now lies with the Senate, whose Speaker, is supposed to convene a House meeting to hear the charges against the governor.
But Mr Wambora Thursday asked the Senate not to discuss the proceedings of his impeachment, saying they were based on an illegality since there was a court order barring the motions.
He said the High Court had issued orders stopping the Embu County Assembly from debating the matter until February 5, thus the outcome should not be considered.
Addressing the Press in his office, the governor, accompanied by Ms Nditi, said he had served the same orders to the Senate Speaker since it is enjoined in the suit.
He said his office had initiated a contempt of court case against Mr Kariuki Mate, the Assembly and Clerk Jim Kauma, to be heard on February 13.