Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Muhamud was on Monday removed from office after the Senate found him guilty of gross violation of the Constitution.
This is after 25 Senators out of 47 upheld the impeachment of the Governor by the County Assembly over alleged gross violation of the Constitution, as recommended by an 11-member Special Committee of the Senate. Two Senators opposed the impeachment while four abstained.
In a 144-page report, the Special Senate Committee recommended impeachment after substantiating one of the 17 allegations leveled against the governor specifically that the governor violated the right to health of the people of Wajir County and this meets the threshold for an impeachable offense.
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 Sh2.4 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.
“If the senate declined to impeach Governor Waiguru for failure in delivering the health function in Kirinyaga yet health workers testified against her, it should surely also decline to impeach the governor for a similar charge where only MCAs testified,” the Governor’s lawyer Ndegwa Wahome told Senators.
In regards to the second charge, the panel found that the MCAs failed to substantiate abuse of office and gross misconduct.
One of the most prominent allegations in the second charge was that the governor violated the constitution on objectivity and impartiality with the country assembly alleging that he had allowed his wife to literally run the affairs of the defacto authority; an allegation the special committee dismissed as unsubstantiated.
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.