Vihiga MCAs ask police to probe source of ‘impeachment motion’

Vihiga County Assembly MCAs

The Vihiga County Assembly during a past session. MCAs from the county have asked the police to investigate the source of a purported impeachment motion against Governor Wilber Ottichilo.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Vihiga County Assembly has asked the police to investigate the source of a purported impeachment motion against Governor Wilber Ottichilo that surfaced online and caused anxiety in the region.

The motion, titled "Impeachment of Vihiga Governor”, threatens to deepen the bad blood between the ward representatives and the county boss ahead of the 2022 polls, even as the 38-member assembly distanced itself from it.

The two-page motion emerged days after Dr Ottichilo dismissed the ward representatives as ignorant of their responsibilities and asked voters to elect professionals as MCAs, sentiments that irked them.

The document has caused jitters in the county. It is purportedly signed by Majority Whip Stanley Kasiera and Lugaga/Wamuluma MCA Victor Ijaika.

MCAs believe it is the creation of the executive and its drafting is intended to whip up emotions and sympathy for the governor as the August elections approach.

Fake

On Wednesday, Mr Ijaika said he had reason to believe the motion is fake and asked the police to help unearth its source.

The document lists numerous court cases lodged against the county government and defiance of court orders as the main grounds for the alleged attempt to remove the governor from office.

It notes that Dr Ottichilo should be removed from office in line with Article 181(1)(a), (b) and (c) of the Constitution and Section 33 of the County Governments Act, 2012 as well as Standing Order 67 of the Vihiga County Assembly.

But Mr Ijaika said ward reps did not draft the document and noted that the House wants the police to help investigate its source and the intention of the “propagandists” and bring them to justice.

“It has come to my attention that some individuals have drafted what looks like an impeachment motion against the governor of Vihiga. I would like to bring to the attention of the people of Vihiga that I have not participated in the drafting of the purported impeachment motion,” Mr Ijaika said.

He went on: “I have reasons to believe that the said document is fake and should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

“I am very much aware that the people of Vihiga will soon have a say on how they would want the county managed and I know they will make a wise decision.”

Bad blood

Late last month, when Dr Ottichilo met Bunyore professionals, he rekindled the bad blood between MCAs and the county executive and accused the ward reps of using loopholes in the law to hold the governor hostage, sentiments that angered the legislators.

At the time, he appeared to paint MCAs as people who do not understand their oversight role.

He described ward representatives as egocentric leaders, and called on the electorate to use the 2022 General Election to elect sober MCAs who will not use their positions to hold governors hostage.

He also challenged professionals to front themselves for the posts so as to lead the way in law and policymaking in counties.

“If we are going to have these types of leaders and a good governor like me is elected, the county will not move forward. I was held hostage,” Dr Ottichilo said in December.

“Our laws have put governors at the mercy of MCAs. If they want to impeach you, they will, even if you have not committed any mistake.”


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