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Kiambu MCAs impeach governor Waititu

• The county lawmakers cited gross violation of the Constitution

Kiambu MCAs have voted to impeach Governor Ferdinand Waititu for abuse of office and gross misconduct. 

A total of 63 MCAs out of 92 voted in support of his removal.

Only one MCA voted against the impeachment motion, while 28 MCAs were absent.

The governor was also voted out on charges of conflict of interest for using proxy companies to trade with the county and failure to comply with procurement regulations.

The county lawmakers cited gross violation of the Constitution, County Government Act, Public Procurement and Disposal Act as well as the Public Finance Management Act.

County assembly speaker Stephen Ndicho is, therefore, expected to notify the Senate speaker Ken Lusaka of the decision in two days to convene a sitting to hear the charges.

The Senate may appoint a special committee of eleven members to probe the matter and report within 10 days.

The County Governments Act stipulates that if the allegations are not substantiated, there will be no further proceedings.

But if substantiated, the Senate will give Waititu an opportunity to be heard before it votes on the impeachment charges.

Should the majority win, the governor shall cease to hold office and if saved, the county boss can’t be removed on similar charges for three months after the vote.

There were allegations he influenced the award of lucrative tenders to companies associated with his immediate family and close relatives.

In the petition, the governor was also accused of hiring 600 casuals without involving the County Public Service Board. He reportedly fired the workers.

Waititu’s troubles began after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji in July ordered his prosecution over the alleged loss of Sh580 million in an irregular tender.

He was held alongside his wife Susan Wangari and eight others, circumstances which saw him kicked out of office.

The MCAs argued that the move exposed the county at the risk of multiple suits and loss of public funds.

The motion tabled by Ndenderu MCA Solomon Kinuthia and seconded by Cyrus Omondi of Kahawa Wendani also cited property disputes involving the governor.

While moving the motion for debate, Kinuthia told the House that the governor has failed to account for county resources and caused unsustainable debts as well as pending bills of Sh4 billion.

“These pending obligations were never disclosed in the county fiscal strategy paper 2018. The governor failed to implement the medium term debt management strategy for the financial year 2018-2019 placing the county in precarious financial position,” the MCA said.

Kinuthia said that the governor has disregarded the county assembly as an arm of the county government by diverting funds meant for the entity to other projects.

The governor was also kicked out for failing to establish the county budget and economic forum hence sabotaging public participation on county plans and budgets.

MCAs further sought to remove the governor of illegally and unlawfully acquiring a prime land belonging to a widow – Cecilia Njoki in Thika.

Their claim is that the transaction was facilitated by the county government and given to one of the governor’s relatives.

“The matter was concluded by the ombudsman after its findings of fact implicate the governor in impeachable conduct,” Kinuthia said. 

The House also heard that the governor influenced the award of lucrative tenders to companies associated with immediate family and close relatives.

 The governor is also alleged to have paid staff without authorized staff establishment records as revealed in an audit that flagged 706 new employees hired without declared vacancies.

MCAs said this set stage for the county’s bloated wage bill hence limiting funding for development.

Majority leader Gideon Gachara backed the removal citing payments to five companies linked to the governor’s family at the expense of other contractors.

He added that Kiambu residents have also tendered their memorandums in the assembly calling for the removal of the governor for mismanagement of county resources.

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