EDITORIAL: Ignore governors’ immunity demand - Daily Nation

Ignore governors’ immunity demand

Wednesday July 11 2018

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The county governors have gotten the wrong end of the stick. Their contention that they should not be arrested and prosecuted over cases of graft while in office is ridiculous and should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

Such a proposition undermines the principles of good governance and opens the floodgates for indiscretions.

No public officer should contemplate to be given relief from a criminal offence that would amount to abuse of office.

First, the Constitution stipulates high moral standards for public officers, more so those in higher positions.

Article 10 of the Constitution, on national values and principles of governance, as well as Chapter Six, on leadership and integrity, enjoin governors and all other State officers to moral probity, ethical conduct and accountability.


These provisions commit them to account to the public for the national resources that they manage and the way they exercise their authority. None is excluded from scrutiny in the performance of public office.

Secondly, counties have been turned into dens of corruption. The level of corruption being witnessed across the counties is mind-boggling and requires decisive and firm actions.

Many governors and their top officers have been accused of financial mismanagement, resource pilferage and poor service delivery, among other ills. Such malpractices must be dealt with irrespective of one’s station in life.

Thirdly, crime is committed by individuals and is never collective or communal. When a governor is implicated in a corruption case, he or she is adjudged as an individual.


Any action taken is on the individual, not a group. Therefore, it is insincere for the Council of Governors to come out to purport to protect one of their own who has been arraigned in court over corruption because he did not act on behalf of the group.

The argument that governors occupy equal space as the President, hence ought to be accorded immunity while in office, is disingenuous.

The President is the Head of State and Government and symbol of national unity. It is an elevated office with executive authority.

Governors should not imagine that they have untrammelled powers.


It is such misguided thinking that makes them arrogate unto themselves flattery titles and undeserved entitlements such as a big retinue of security personnel and aides.

The argument we are putting across is that the war on corruption and, for that matter, all forms of crime, is indiscriminate and cares less about status, ethnic extraction, religion or party affiliation.

The day we make the crusade selective is the day we lose the plot. We are all equal before the law and its application must just be that.