Governor Kawira Mwangaza

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza before the Senate Committee on Public Investment and Special Funds at KICC, Nairobi County on July 5, 2023.

| Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s impeachment exposes independents’ woes

What you need to know:

  • Kawira, who was impeached last Wednesday, is now hoping that the Senate will hand her a lifeline.

The political tribulations facing embattled Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza have revealed the hurdles leaders elected on independent tickets face in discharging their duties.

Ms Mwangaza, whose impeachment motion sailed through the Meru County Assembly for the second time on Wednesday last week, is now hoping that the Senate will hand her a lifeline.

The governor, who floored political bigwigs in the 2022 General Election such as Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi and former governor Kiraitu Murungi, who served for one term, finds herself in unfamiliar territory.

No option

Since the MCAs are allied to the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, the county boss has no option but to reach out to senators from both the Opposition and the government to save her.

Already, Senate Speaker Amason Kingi has received the particulars of the impeachment motion that was approved by 59 MCAs, with only 10 abstaining.

Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye yesterday confirmed that the House had received the impeachment particulars from the county assembly Speaker.

Ms Mwangaza’s tribulations depict the challenges politicians elected on independent tickets face. Sidelined, lonely and deserted by leaders from the region, no political party has come to the rescue of Ms Mwangaza.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, last Wednesday, Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria defended Ms Mwangaza, terming her removal as a scheme by a Mt Kenya politician whom he did not name but said wants to be the region’s kingpin for his personal gain and “not to solve the problems of our people who are getting desperate by the day.”

But just a day after his remarks, a section of Meru MPs told Mr Kuria to keep off the county’s politics.

Dismissed assertions

Addressing journalists at Parliament Buildings, the MPs said Mr Kuria does not understand Meru’s problems.

And yesterday, professionals from the county told off leaders from other regions who are defending the governor and dismissed assertions that Ms Mwangaza is being fought because she is a woman.

Ms Gakii Mbui, who led other women professionals from the county, said the fight was to ensure good governance in the management of Meru County.

“We want her out, not because she is a woman, but because she lacks leadership skills. She cannot sit down with other leaders and listen to them,” she said.

Although former Speaker Justin Muturi moved to shield independent MPs and those elected on fringe parties from being de-removed from committees, majority of the lawmakers still prefer to align with the dominant parties in the House.

In a ruling following a request for clarity on the matter by Ugenya MP David Ochieng’ (Movcement for Democracy and Growth), who was facing expulsion from a committee by the Orange Democratic Movement,Mr Muturi, who is now the Attorney-General, said the Constitution acknowledges the sovereignty of the people who can exercise their power either directly or through their elected representatives.

“It, therefore, follows that each elected representative ... exercises the sovereign power of the people the member represents in the House,” Mr Muturi said.