, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – “I am Governor of Makueni county until the Senate says I am not, and until a court says that I am not and until a petition by the citizens of Makueni says I am not. ” These were the words of Kivutha Kibwana on Friday afternoon, as he scoffed at an impeachment vote passed by his County Assembly on Thursday.
The embattled governor reiterated that he would not be shaken by the Assembly’s decision insisting that his loyalty was to the people of Makueni who elected him.
Kibwana had himself already initiated a campaign of signature collection from Makueni voters to have the entire county government (Executive and Assembly) dissolved. He says the campaign had already secured support of more than the legally required signatures.
“As a citizen of Makueni county, I fully support this citizen petition to recall the county government in its entirety,” Kibwana stated.
Kibwana who had earlier blamed the Wiper Democratic Movement for orchestrating his tribulations (22 Wiper MCAs voted in favor of his impeachment) now says the County Assembly members refused to heed to the advice of the party organs against ejecting him.
While addressing the press in reaction to his impeachment by the assembly, Kibwana maintained innocence terming the allegations of corruption and abuse of office leveled against him as malicious and baseless.
“What is factual is that 22 MCAs from Wiper party voted in favour of my impeachment—and they had been talked to by their leadership and they decided not to listen to the leadership. I cannot say they were told to do that,” Kibwana stated in an apparent change of heart.
And in a bid to exonerate the party from rumors that it was involved in impeaching the Makueni governor, the Wiper Party sent a statement to newsrooms declaring that it neither supported Kibwana’s impeachment nor the dissolution of the County.
The resolution to send him home was passed by 35 MCAs, defeating 10 who voted in his favour after weeks of bad blood between them.
Kibwana’s fate now lies with the Senate which is set to hold a special sitting to investigate allegations facing him to establish if the MCAs were justified in kicking him out.
“I trust that the Senate, as the pivotal protector of devolution, will give me a fair hearing and justice will be done for the people of Makueni,” said the embattled governor.
The Senate which adjourned in order to mediate in the pending conflict is yet to make feasible efforts in resolving the matter.
All eyes are set on the Senates’ committee on devolved government which will be holding a 3- day probe on the conflict set to begin on 14th October.
Already the Senate has asked the public to submit their opinions and comments on the matter to help it come up with a solution to the problems which could help mitigate future conflicts.