Governor Mwangaza's allies kicked out of assembly leadership

Meru County Assembly

Meru County Assembly in a past session.

Photo credit: File

Meru ward representatives have continued to purge allies of Governor Kawira Mwangaza as the rift between the assembly and the executive deepens.

On Tuesday, MCAs passed a vote of no confidence in Health committee chairman Douglas Mutea and Roads committee deputy chairman for joining Mwangaza's camp.

In a heated committee meeting in the county assembly buildings, the majority of MCAs voted to remove the two leaders, citing unpleasant behaviour.

The vote of no confidence will now be sent to the liaison committee for approval.

The removal of the governor's two allies comes two weeks after ruling party members removed Mitunguu MCA Evans Mawira from the position of majority leader for aligning himself with the governor.

Following the second failed impeachment attempt, only three MCAs have mended fences with the governor, leaving Ms Mwangaza with a total of 13 allies in the 59-member assembly.

This has effectively left Mwangaza without a majority to push through her agenda in the county assembly.

Deputy Majority Leader Zipporah Kinya said they were keen to align the leadership of the assembly to effectively carry out its oversight mandate.

"The no-confidence motion against the pro-governor MCAs is just the beginning. We cannot entrust important sectoral committees to MCAs who have denounced their oversight role. The members give the position and the members have taken it," said Ms Kinya.

The MCAs said the affected committee chairpersons were no longer representing the interests of the people's representatives to the executive.

But Mr Mawira rejected the no-confidence motion, saying it was based on vague grounds.

"We want to know why Mr Mutea is being kicked out of the leadership of the Health Committee. No specific reason was given in the notice," Mr Mawira lamented.

Kiagu MCA Simon Kiambi said there was a plot to remove all those allied to the governor from committees that come with better perks.

"Meru County MPs are out to ensure that MCAs who are friends of the governor do not get committee allowances," Mr Kiambi said.

The long-running political duel between the MCAs and the governor has led to growing dissent over several development programmes initiated by Ms Mwangaza.

The MCAs have accused Governor Mwangaza of implementing some projects without the Assembly's approval, favouring her allies' wards and diverting funds allocated under the ward equalisation scheme.

Major flagship programmes implemented by Governor Mwangaza against the wishes of the majority of MCAs include the Sh67 million 'one cow, one vulnerable family' initiative and the Sh531 million 'Mwangaza barabarani' programme.

Last year, the MCAs recommended the impeachment of former Agriculture Executive Thuranira Ithana for implementing the 'one cow, one needy family' programme without an approved policy document.

They also passed a motion rejecting the involvement of the Mechanical and Transport Fund (MTF) in road projects in the district.

However, Governor Mwangaza defied the MCAs and went ahead with the cow donation to the poor and awarded a Sh531 million road improvement contract to MTF.