United Democratic Alliance (UDA) chairman Johnstone Muthama made frantic efforts to stop an impeachment motion against Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza from being tabled at the county assembly, it has now emerged.
Mr Muthama reached out to members of county assembly though their Majority Leader Evans Mawira on Monday before the motion was tabled on Tuesday and sought to bring the governor and the Ward Reps to a negotiating table. But the MCAs snubbed him.
“It’s true he called me but we told him that this is not a UDA affair since it involves all members of the county assembly,” Mr Mawira, who is Mitunguu MCA said Thursday in a phone interview.
“We however have no problem talking to him and once the date is set and confirmed we will give him a hearing. But we want all leaders in Meru to be present,” he added.
Abogeta West MCA and Minority Chief Whip Dennis Kiogora gave the Notice of Motion in a sitting attended by more than 60 MCAs.
In the proposed motion, Mr Kiogora wants governor Mwangaza removed from office for gross violation of the constitution, gross violation of various national and county laws, abuse of office and gross misconduct.
Out of 69 members, only Kiagu MCA Simon Kiambi is opposed to the impeachment arguing that the motion is based on political witch-hunt and lacks sufficient grounds
As of Monday a day before the motion was tabled, Njuri Ncheke council of elders said they had planned a meeting that would bring together area MPs, the governor and the MCAs.
Josphat Murangiri, the Council secretary general in charge of operations said they were still pursuing reconciliation efforts despite the motion being tabled.
“Our plan still stands and we intend to meet them most probably on Friday (tomorrow) or Monday although all parties have not confirmed,” Mr Murangiri said in a phone interview on Wednesday night.
Ms Mwangaza has been holding grassroots meetings with members of the public to try and consolidate her political base as the assembly kicked off public participation exercise on the motion.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the governor hit out at the ward reps, saying she would not be cowed. She has accused them of intimidating her over refusal to allocate the ward fund, saying she cannot allow an illegality to continue.
While first Governor Peter Munya allocated Sh25 million for each of the 45 wards in the county, his successor Kiraitu Murungi gave Sh20 million. But Ms Mwangaza said after she consulted the controller of budget who said the ward fund was illegal, she could not continue allocating the funds.
"We were advised that the fund is illegal and I cannot continue allocating the funds. It doesn't matter how much noise they make but I will not be intimated," she said.
She said the MCAs were opposed to her grassroots visits, adding that the public meetings were intended to allow residents understand how much money was allocated to various projects.
“Some of the allocations are generalized and we want to streamline them. For instance, the money allocated to buy water pipes in this ward is Sh2 million but the specific projects are not listed. These are the loopholes that are used to siphon money and this is what I want to stop the reason they are fighting me,” she said.
The governor said she would stay put and pursue her goal of "liberating" the people of Meru, and wondered why she was being fought.