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Kisii MCAs impeach Deputy Governor

Kisii Deputy Governor Dr Robert Monda was on Thursday evening impeached after 53 Members of the Kisii County Assembly voted to remove him from office.

The voting was conducted after the assembly received a public participation report supporting the impeachment motion and granted Dr Monda a chance to defend himself before the members on Thursday afternoon.

The motion was moved by Ichuni Ward MCA Wycliff Siocha who accused the deputy governor of gross violation of the constitution, abuse of office, gross misconduct, and committing crimes under National law.

“Given the verdict that the two-thirds threshold is 47 and the Yes vote got 53, the threshold has been met. According to standing order no.60, sub-section 7, I now declare that the Deputy Governor of Kisii County, His Excellency Dr. Robert Monda has been removed by the Kisii County Assembly by way of impeachment,” said the Speaker of the County Assembly, Dr Phillip Nyanumba.

Specifically, the deputy governor was alleged to have grossly violated the Constitution by requesting and receiving a bribe of Sh800,000 from one Dennis Mokaya and his family on the pretext of securing him a job for the said post of a Commercial Manager of Gusii Water and Sanitation Company (GWASCO), an entity of Kisii county government.

The MCAs questioned Dr Monda over sending a sum of Sh100,000 to the Managing Director of GWASCO in an attempt to influence the award of a contract of employment for Dennis Mokaya, a request that was turned down and the money refunded.

Further, the assembly accused the deputy governor of misusing county staff by engaging them in personal work on his farm contrary to their assigned duties by the county.

While contributing to the floor of the assembly, Nominated MCA Caren Magara called for sobriety in the house saying that not many residents of Kisii can raise Sh800,000 as a bribe in exchange for securing a job in the county.

Ms Magara who had seconded the motion told the assembly that the interviewee in question had sold his business in Nairobi and relocated his family back home with the hope of securing the job, but that did not go as planned leaving him frustrated.

Masige West MCA Jacob Bagaka pointed out that soliciting and receiving a bribe by the deputy governor had contravened sections of the Leadership and Integrity Act which requires a state officer to exercise responsibility and authority of the said office in the best interest of Kenyans.

“We have a responsibility as leaders of Kisii County to stand by the truth and if indeed, one of us extorted a sum of Sh.800,000 from a poor Kenyan to enrich himself when he has a job described as a Deputy Governor, then he does not deserve to be in that office,” said Bagaka.

On her part, Nominated MCA Lilian Gor opposed the DG’s removal, saying the motion mover did not present the burden of proof, adding that they had only received a document of shortlisted candidates for the Commercial Manager post at GWASCO.

“I expect proof of receipt of payment and evidence on the solicitation of the bribe because the allegation here is requisition and receipt. The mover did not prove to this house that there was any requisition for this bribe,” Gor noted.

Similarly, Bokimonge Ward MCA Amos Onderi questioned the timelines of the motion saying the complainant’s letter to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) regarding the bribe received by the deputy governor was received on 20th of February, 2024 and yet the notice of motion for impeachment was tabled on 13th of February, 2024.

Onderi asked the assembly to interrogate if the grounds for impeachment came before the motion was tabled or if the same was generated later after the notice of motion had been presented to the house.

Appearing before the assembly together with his lawyers, Katwa Kigen and Wilkins Ochoki, Dr Monda denied the allegations against him by the MCAs saying the impeachment motion was a political exercise meant to hurt him.

According to the deputy governor, he received a total sum of Sh500,000 in two instalments from Dennis Mokaya’s parents as repayment of a loan he had given the family sometime back and had also erroneously sent the Sh100,000 to the GWASCO MD instead of wiring the same to Gladys Aming’a as payment for transport services.

Dr Monda told the assembly that he did not have a farm at his home and no county officers were working at his home except the six officers provided by the county and as such, the accusation of misusing county staff for personal assignments was false.

“Mr Speaker, I am a father and a grandfather and when I look at the entire society and what is being labelled at me at this point, I find that we shall spoil our politics, not because of me, but for the rest of the generations to come if we proceed in this direction,” said the DG.

Despite tabling his defence, Dr Monda was impeached as 53 MCAs approved his removal from office while only 15 MCAs opposed his impeachment motion.

The Deputy Governor’s fate now lies with the Senate and he could be removed from office if the Senate endorses the decision of the County Assembly.

Speaking to the press after the impeachment, MCA Siocha expressed his satisfaction with the majority vote saying that he had taken the responsibility to move the motion on behalf of the complainant and many jobless youths who voted them into office.

Mr Siocha added that MCAs are expected to set a precedence in the third assembly and meet the expectations of the electorates by fighting impunity by state officials in the county.

By Mercy Osongo

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