NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Paul Chepkwony on Wednesday became the second Governor to be ousted from office after the Kericho County Assembly passed an impeachment motion against him.
All 32 members present voted in favour of the impeachment motion while 15 others opposed to the motion boycotted debate.
Kericho County Assembly Majority Leader Daniel Rono explained Chepkwony was impeached for alleged abuse of office and flouting procurement rules.
He is also accused of allegedly unlawfully procuring or permitting procurement of goods and services without following due process contrary to the Public Procurement and Disposal Act.
The Governor is also faulted for allegedly violating the provision of the County Government Act and Public Procurement Act on grants and donations and failing to follow due process regarding public and private partnerships.
“He went and signed an agreement that would have cost the county Sh1.7billon and 13 percent commission towards that company. He also committed the county to donate 500 acres of communal land but the community was not involved, in that they were not asked if they are willing to give out that land,” Rono stated.
Chepkwony is further accused of recruiting personnel and creating offices in the county contrary to Sections 59, 60, 61 and 62 of the County Government Act.
The motion was tabled by Nominated MCA Albert Kipkoech and seconded by Edward Ruto Santos of Kipkelion Ward.
Martin Wambora became the first Governor to be ejected from office after being impeached by the Embu County Assembly.
He was ejected a second time after the first impeachment was annulled by the courts.
in Kericho, Rono said he was confident that the assembly’s charges will stand the test before the Senate.
“We had collected evidence for more than one month; The motion was tabled on Thursday… we could not have been able to compile all that information in one day.”
The motion comes after efforts by the Myoot Council of Elders to reconcile them failed to bear fruits.
“It is the second time that the Council of Elders tried to reconcile us but the Governor went against what we agreed, which was to meet once in every three months to iron out issues,” Rono added. “But this has nothing to do with not being heard, this is a constitutional process that had to come to an end.”
The Kericho County Assembly Speaker is now required to send communication to the Senate to commence impeachment hearings.
Chepkwony’s fate now lies with the Senate, whose Speaker, according to Article 181 of the Constitution, is supposed to convene a meeting of the Senate to hear the charges against the Governor.
The Senate will then set up a Special Committee to look in the allegations levelled against the Governor and must submit a report within 10 days either recommending that Senators support the assembly’s decision to impeach or the Senate rejects the County Assembly’s decision.
If a vote in the Senate fails to result in the removal of the Governor, the Speaker of the Senate shall notify the Kericho County Assembly Speaker.
If the Assembly is not satisfied with the Senate’s decision, it can re-introduce the debate after three months.