Leaders lobby to stop Nyamira governor's impeachment, call for dialogue

Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo

Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo before the County Public Investment Committee (CPIC) at KICC, Nairobi on September 21, 2023.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

It is now emerging there is intense lobbying in a bid to scuttle the planned ouster of Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo, set for Thursday next week.

The Nation has reliably learnt that a number of local and national leaders are engaging the Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) after Esise ward MCA Josiah Mang’era on Tuesday issued a notice of motion for the governor’s removal from office.

Nyamira County Assembly Speaker Enock Okero is expected to give directions on Thursday on the impeachment process as per the scheduled timelines.

The motion mover has listed 12 grounds for the governor’s removal from office which if substantiated by the members, then the Senate will be required to uphold or dismiss.

Some of the grounds cited include disobedience of court orders, irregular recruitment of staff, procurement breach, abuse of office, and nepotism.

“We have reached out to our colleagues in the Assembly to embrace dialogue led by the clergy and key stakeholders,” said Migoma MCA Nyambega Gisesa, who is also the national chairperson of the governor’s UPA Party.

Another senior regional official said the matter is still not out of hand and the MCAs can apply Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to forestall the process and reconcile with the governor.

“The matter has not reached a point of no return. The leadership of Nyamira and the entire Kisii region can still work out a way. There are many forces against the governor but this is purely politics,” said the regional leader who did not want to be quoted.

Ahead of tabling the notice of motion, National Assembly Majority Whip Silvanus Osoro engaged a section of the MCAs and urged them to embrace ADR to get an amicable solution.

“I urged the leaders to embrace ADR to find solutions on the issues that bedevil their county even as they exercise their oversight duties,” he said.

The County Assembly Standing Orders 62 (4) states: “Upon the expiry of seven days, after notice given, the Motion shall be placed on the Order Paper and shall be disposed of within three days.”

In the event the House is not sitting, the Standing Orders provides: “The Speaker shall summon the Assembly to meet and cause the Motion to be considered at that meeting after notice has been given.”

This means that upon the expiry period for the impeachment motion, which will be on Monday 2nd October as per the timelines, the House will have until Thursday to dispense with the matter, either through plenary or a select committee.

The Speaker on Tuesday adjourned the House sitting after the notice of motion was issued with a total of 27 out of the 34 MCAs reported to have supported it.

He stated the impeachment motion is in line with Section 33 of the County Governments Act, 2012 and the Constitution.

According to Article 181 of the Constitution, a county governor may be removed from office on any of the following grounds: gross violation of this Constitution or any other law, where there are serious reasons for believing that the county governor has committed a crime under national or international law, abuse of office or gross misconduct; or physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of office of county governor.

In reference to the Assembly Standing Orders, when the Order for the Motion is read, the speaker shall refuse to allow the member to move the motion, unless the Speaker is satisfied that the member is supported by at least a third of all Members of the County Assembly to move the motion; provided that it’s within the seven days’ notice.

“The Clerk shall cause to be prepared and deposited in his office a list of all MCAs with an open space against each name for purposes of appending signatures, which list shall be entitled ‘SIGNATURES IN SUPPORT OF A MOTION FOR REMOVAL OF GOVERNOR BY IMPEACHMENT’,” reads the Assembly’s Standing Orders.

Therefore, any signature appended to the list as provided shall not be withdrawn.

“When the Motion has been passed by two-thirds of all members of the County Assembly, the Speaker shall inform the Speaker of the Senate of that resolution within two days.”