Meru residents collect signatures to send home Kawira Mwangaza and MCAs

Meru residents

A group of Meru residents launch an initiative to collect 78,000 signatures to suspend the county government on November 20, 2023.

Photo credit: Gitonga Marete | Nation Media Group

A group of Meru residents in collaboration with members of the civil society have started collecting signatures in bid to suspend Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s county government.

Mr David Karani, a rights activist, on Monday said the current situation where leaders were wrangling ceaselessly was not conducive for development.

“It’s unfair for residents because nothing is going on in Meru. There is also a lot of money being spent on impeachment cases and we cannot allow this to continue. We want the president to hear the call of the Meru residents and suspend the county,” he said.

Governor Mwangaza and members of the county assembly have been engaged in endless tussles that have seen the ward reps unsuccessfully attempt to remove her from office twice in under 12 months.

Kawira Mwangaza.

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The legislators have also vowed to oust 12 executives in Ms Mwangaza’s administration, a move that is likely to paralyse her government.

The governor has already said she would support the suspension, adding that efforts to reconcile with the MCAs had failed.

Speaking during the exercise at Nkubu, Imenti South, the residents said they were tired of wrangles between the governor and MCAs and asked President William Ruto to suspend the devolved unit.

Mr James Kinoti said since elections were held on August 9 last year, all the leaders did was fight and engage in politics at the expense of the electorate.

“We want to go back to the ballot and elect new leaders because the current ones have let us down. Let them go home,” he said.

Mr Simon Kiambi, Kiagu MCA who has been a staunch supporter of the governor, also appended his signature on Monday.

“We have failed the people of Meru as leaders and I call upon the president to suspend the county so that we seek fresh mandate,” Mr Kiambi said.

Mr Nick Mburugu, former Nkuene MCA, said they would take the exercise to all the corners of the county to ensure all areas are represented.

“We will go to all the sub-counties until we get all the signatories required to suspend the county,” he said.

The constitution, in Article 192, provides for suspension of a county if there is an emergency or due to other compelling reasons.

At least 10 per cent of registered voters are required to append their signatures to a petition to the President. With 780,000 voters in Meru, the proponents of the initiative will require 78,000 signatures.

Read more on what it takes to suspend a county in Kenya here.