Impeachment of Wajir Governor is political witch-hunt: CoG
The Council of Governors described the impeachment of Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mahamud as a political witch hunt in a statement to the press on Wednesday.
The Council disparaged the process, claiming that the Senate disobeyed court orders prohibiting the County Assembly and Senate from discussing the impeachment motion.
The Council’s chair, Governor Martin Wambora, said the Senate had purposefully ignored the exonerating evidence on health captured in the Nation Survey Report on Health released in May 2019.
“The Council strongly faults the whole process on the following grounds: the senate Lowering the standard of proof and the threshold on impeachment matters and thus exposing the Counties to Political upheavals,” the statement reads. ” For example, in the Kirinyaga case, the Senate acquitted the Governor who has been charged of similar violations.”
Governor Wambora said the Council will meet on Friday, May 21 2021 to discuss the matter and issue a detailed statement on the subject.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Ali Muktar was sworn in as the third governor of Wajir County on Tuesday, following the Senate’s approval of the former county boss’s impeachment.
The Wajir County headquarters hosted the swearing-in ceremony.
Mr Muktar said in his first speech after taking the oath of office that his administration would prioritize the water, health, and education sectors.
“My commitment to you is based on objectivity and professionalism. He said, “I ask for your help.”
The new governor also promised to maintain Wajir people’s unity and assist in resolving the county’s health crisis.
For the past week, healthcare employees have been on strike.
Mohamud’s impeachment trial was held by an 11-member Committee which submitted to the Senate an 144-page report recommending his removal.
25 Senators out of 47 upheld the impeachment of the Governor by the County Assembly surpassing the required threshold of a simple majority of 24 votes. Two Senators opposed the impeachment while four abstained the vote.
The Wajir County Assembly alleged that the governor “had caused the health sector to run into disarray that had compromised right to the highest attainable health standards; and also that, “over Ksh.2.4 billion had been allocated to the department of medical service but the county referral hospital lab could not conduct COVID-19 tests due to faulty test kits and lack of reagents. ”
In his defense, the governor denied that healthcare in Wajir had suffered under his leadership adding that the allegations levelled against him do not meet the threshold of impeachment.
“The main impeachment is said to be gross violation of the constitution by not providing adequate health facilities…according to me…, we have provided enough…I could be impeached for violation of the constitution but it cannot be for gross misconduct,” the Governor told the Senate on Monday.
The Wajir governor is the 9th county boss to face impeachment since the promulgation of the new constitution with two of his colleagues namely Mike Sonko and Ferdinand Waititu removed from office for gross misconduct.