, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 25 – The Council of Governors has accused the Murang’a County Assembly of flouting the law by not giving Governor Mwangi wa Iria an opportunity to be heard before they passed a motion on his impeachment.
They termed the impeachment as null and void further discrediting the reasons given by the County Assembly as not meeting the required threshold.
“The County Assembly of Murang’a has acted in total breach of the Constitution and the County Governments Act by not according the Governor an opportunity to defend himself against the allegations levelled against him,” said a statement from the council adding that “the opportunity to be heard by an impartial decision maker is at the heart of the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness.”
The Governors further expressed concern over what they termed as County Assemblies holding Governors hostage acknowledging that it was a fact that devolution was facing challenges but this did not lay the grounds for impeachment.
Meru Governor and Council Chairman Peter Munya said it was time to admit that there were things that had not been successful and work at improving them for the sake of the electorate rather than attack each other.
“We should accept that we have we have faced certain difficulties and learn lessons from them and move forward for the sake of the people who have entrusted us with leadership positions,” said Munya.
They further blamed Iria’s woes on the delayed disbursements to counties which had led to the accumulated huge debts, with Murang’a County having reached Sh2.5 billion.
“We are informed that huge bills have accumulated most of which are arising from the liabilities of the former local authorities and the fact that the National Treasury has for over four months failed to disburse development funds to the county leading to more accumulated bills, amongst other challenges,” stated Munya.
Munya also faulted using the Auditor General’s report in the impeachment motion saying all counties had audit queries which they were yet to respond to and that the auditor did not hold exit meetings before compiling the final report.
The Governors also called for a consultative meeting with both levels of government to decide how liabilities from the local authorities would be resolved as they were overburdening the county governments.
The Transition Authority was also urged to gazette all the transferrable functions to prevent a crisis ahead of the March 2016 deadline on transfer of functions.
On the constant delay of disbursement of funds to counties, Governor Munya appealed to the National Treasury to be sensitive to the needs of counties and comply with the law on disbursement of funds as this was grounding their operations.
He acknowledging the release of August funds but called for serious intergovernmental consultations on fiscal management as the constant delays impacted the overall economy of the country.