Governor Mwangaza to President Ruto: Save me from impeachment

Kawira Mwangaza

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza makes her speech during a thanksgiving ceremony at the University of Embu on December 4, 2022, that was graced by President William Ruto.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza has pleaded with President William Ruto to intervene in her feud with county MCAs amid reports that a fresh impeachment motion is in the offing.

Governor Mwangaza who joined Embu leaders for an interdenominational prayer meeting at Embu University on Sunday called on the President to be the peace-maker in Meru.

"The Bible says that blessed are the peace-makers for they shall be called children of God...I pray that the President is inspired by God to broker peace in Meru County," Ms Mwangaza said.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the President would soon call a meeting of all Meru leaders to resolve the differences.

 "Meru is a very important county to us and we wouldn't want feuds to stall development. We are glad that leaders in Embu and Tharaka Nithi are working as a team," Mr Gachagua said.

MCAs are plotting to reintroduce an impeachment motion in the county assembly this week after the High Court stopped debate on a previous motion.

Sources within the county assembly indicate that a fresh motion has already been drafted and a notice would be given on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Kawira Mwangaza

President William Ruto with governors Kawira Mwangaza ( Meru), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) when he visited the region for a thanksgiving ceremony at the University of Embu on December 4, 2022. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

“I cannot confirm or deny that a fresh motion has been drafted. We obeyed the court order that stopped the debate. Let us see how things turn out this week,” Majority leader Evans Mawira said.

The MCAs have vowed not to go on recess until they dispense of the impeachment motion.

An MCA who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were not ready to stand down in their offensive against the governor.

“The governor has been trying to reach out for a truce but the differences we have with the her are irreconcilable therefore we have no room for dialogue. The court ruling has guided us on how to better undertake the impeachment process. We are undeterred,” the MCA said.

This comes even as activist petitioned the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to remove Meru High Court Judge Thripisa Cherere who stopped the impeachment motion.

Mr Salesio Thuranira, a serial petitioner on matters of public interest, wants Justice Cherere removed for ‘breach of code of conduct’.

He cites Justice Cherere over the handling of various matters including the impeachment motion against Meru governor Mwangaza.

Constitutional rights

In the JSC petition, Mr Thuranira has protested the manner in which Justice Cherere handled three constitutional petitions including E022, E023 and E024 as well as the Notice of Motion for impeachment of Governor Mwangaza.

On Wednesday, Justice Cherere issued orders stopping MCAs from debating the impeachment motion against Governor Mwangaza on grounds that the procedure used to process the proposed motion was flawed and could violate the governor’s Constitutional rights.

Mr Thuranira accuses Justice Cherere of wrongfully issuing orders transferring petition E023 to Milimani Law courts.

Petition E023 sought to have the process of changing Constituency Development Fund Act, 2013 to National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) Act, 2015, declared unconstitutional.

He also wanted the National Treasury barred from disbursing NGCDF until the matter is heard and determined.

“The petitioner has never got the light and right of his application to date even after visiting the Milimani law Courts to follow up the dispatch of the said file,” Mr Thuranira argues.

He says the transfer was wrongful “since there is still an ongoing petition E022 in the High Court at Meru with similar weighty issues as in petition E023.”

In Petition E022, Mr Thuranira and John Wangai sought to have women representatives barred from being patrons of the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (Ngaaf).

On the matter of impeachment motion, Mr Thuranira faults Justice Cherere’s ruling that quashed the notice of motion for impeachment of governor Mwangaza.

“The ruling does not analyse or even mention the responses and explanations set on 4 to 16 of the respondents replying affidavit…” he states.

The petitioner terms the quashing of the notice of motion ‘bizarre’ since the governor did not request the court to quash the impeachment motion.

“Secondly, the prevailing case law and judicial practice are loath to issue relief in interlocutory proceedings…” he adds.

Mr Thuranira adds that the ruling did not indicate the ‘exceptional circumstances that justify judicial interference with the ongoing legislative process…’

Meru County Assembly lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu, in his advisory to the clerk, had also faulted the high court ruling by Justice Cherere.

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