The standoff in Taita-Taveta County that has led to MCAs voting to impeach Governor Granton Samboja raises some pertinent questions.
Whilst it’s true that these MCAs are representatives of the people, it’s also true that they did not directly elect the governor.
He won a popular vote, and it’s only fair that the people are fully informed and involved in making a decision of such magnitude.
All the 30 MCAs in the county assembly on Wednesday, slightly over the two-thirds threshold, voted for the impeachment.
There is nothing wrong with that. They followed the law and the right procedure. However, a matter that affects nearly 300,000 people should, ideally, be handled with a bit more sensitivity.
It should not be driven by petty personal differences or selfish interests.
The plain truth is that county assemblies are mostly made up of semi-literate charlatans notorious for base conduct and greed.
And there is a tendency to hold governors to ransom with the threat of impeaching them if they do not play ball on public funds.
This is why the next phase of the action against Governor Samboja, where the Senate takes charge, is crucial. It will evaluate the accusations and make a decision based on facts and not hearsay.
The MCAs are accusing him of gross violation of the law, misappropriation of funds and failing to assent to the 2019/2020 budget. For his part, the governor has led a campaign to collect signatures to dissolve the county, heightening the row.
While the impeachment law is essential to keep governors accountable, it must never be exercised with an ulterior motive.
This vital tool should be used sparingly, as a last resort, to resolve rows. But, most importantly, it must be in the public interest.
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