Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu’s impeachment motion is set to be discussed before Kitui County Assembly this week. We take a look at the 12 grounds for the impeachment as contained in the motion.
Failure to Honour senate summons
According to the charges, Ngilu was summoned to appear before the Senate Committee on County Public Investment and Accounts to shed light on Audit Queries over management of the County funds and expenditure for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 financial years.
“The County Governor, in an open and blatant manner and in utter disregard of the law, declined/ignored to comply with the said summons and directions, and when she finally appeared before the CPIAC on 29th November 2019, she failed to give a satisfactory response to the Audit Queries and resultantly, she was fined Ksh 500,000.” The motion reads in part.
According to the impeachment motion, The above unlawful actions of the County Governor amount to a breach of Articles 10 (2) (c), 96(3), 174, and 175 of the Constitution.
“As such, there was no accountability and transparency in the Kitui County expenditure as required of her as the chief executive of the County hence she grossly violated Article 179 of the Constitution as read together with Section. 30 (3) (f) of the CG Act.” The motion adds.
Failure to comply with the two thirds gender rule in appointments
According to the motion, Article 179 (2) (b) of the Constitution, mandates the County Governor to constitute the County Executive Committee. In the exercise of her said powers, she is bound to observe and uphold the provisions of Article 175 (c) of the Constitution.
“The membership of the County Executive Committee of Kitui County as presently constituted by the County Governor comprises of Seven members. Out of the Seven County Executive Committee members, only one is a woman and that is the County Governor herself. This position is a clear violation of Article 175 (c) of the Constitution and Section 35 (2)(a) of the County Government Act.” The Ngilu impeachment motion adds.
Failure to appoint Health CECM
According to the motion, Kitui County does not have a CEC in charge
Health. The position has been vacant for the last two and a half years exposing the people to poor and inadequate health policies due to the lack of a policy formulator.
“It is not a surprise therefore that based on the County Governments Annual Budget Implementation Review Report by the Office of the Controller of Budget for the financial year 2018-2019 at page 124, Kitui County incurred a cost of 80,000,000 on purchase of CT Scan and an amount of 70,000,000 for XRays machines. Both CT Scan and X-Ray machines have not been functional since the acquisition.” The impeachment motion adds.
These actions by Ngilu it says has contributed to many deaths and greatly undermined the realization of the right to highest attainable health standard of the people of Kitui as enshrined under Article 43 (1)(a) of the
Conflict of Interest in the Ballast crusher
According to the motion, Article 75 (1) of the Constitution mandates all state officers to behave in a manner that avoids conflict between their personal interests and public/ official duties and to behave in a manner that avoids compromising any public or official interest in favor of personal interest.
In January 2018 the CECM Trade, Cooperatives, and Investments obtained a quotation Ref No. SS201801190422A from Ms. Hellen of SBM Shanghai Shibang Machinery Company Limited in China for the supply of a stationary stone crusher with a capacity of 100-120 tonnes per hour at a total price of CIF Mombasa USD 212,433.
The County Government advertised for a tender for the supply, delivery, installation, and commissioning of a stationary stone crusher of the
same specification as the one described above being Tender No. CG0KTI/254/2017-2018.
On 4th May 2018 a notification of award of the tender was issued to EDN GEORGE DIESEL LIMITED a company owned by George Mungai and Nancy Wachira. On 23rd May 2018 EDN GEORGE DIESEL LIMITED opened a new account with Sidian Bank Account No. 01036020003040, and one John Odour was introduced as a mandatory signatory. “It is in the public domain
that the said John Odour is an uncle to Mr Billy Indeche – a son in law of the County Governor, by fact that he is married to Ms Lunde Jemi Mwendwa, the first-born daughter of the County Governor.”
“The obvious overall conclusion of the above is that the county governor used her son-in-law, by having his uncle John Oduor appointed as a mandatory signatory to the Account No. 01036020003040 at Sidian Bank to safeguard her share of the financial interest/share of the tender price once paid by the County, hence the county governor abused her office by conferring a personal benefit upon herself through the son-in-law.” The motion adds.
Unlawful hire of County Secretary
Ngilu in the impeachment motion is accused of unlawful and irregular appointment of Dr. Joshua Chepchieng as the County Secretary in contravention of Section 44 of the County Government Act without approval by the County Assembly.
Failure to fire impeached CECM Philip Mumo
Despite the County Assembly impeaching Trade, Cooperatives, and Investments CECM Philip Mumo for lacking qualifications, Ngilu has allowed the said CECM to continue serving despite the said resolutions of the County Assembly adopted on 20th November 2019.
While passing the 2020/2021 Budget, Kitui MCAs slashed the entire development budget for the department and removed the monies budgeted for the salary of the CECM.
Violation of the Income Tax Act by failing to remit statutory deductions to KRA
Ngilu in the impeachment motion is accused of failing to remit to KRA deducted taxes amounting to Kshs. 498,159,155.60 which the governor and her executive committee factored in the county’s 2020-2021 budget
to cater for the unpaid tax deficits, yet the same was being deducted from the respective taxpayers and never remitted.
“The failure to remit the deducted taxes and subjecting the county to unnecessary interest and penalties has occasioned the county to incur losses. This further erodes public confidence in the integrity of the office of the governor, and the same amounts to a violation of Article 10 (2) (c), 73(1)(a) and 73(2) (b) of the constitution.” The impeachment motion adds.
Gross violation of PFMA on the County wage bill
Section 130 Public Finance Management Act, 2012 and the Public Finance
Management (County Regulations), 2015 provides that the County Government wages shall be contained at 35 percent of the County Government’s total revenue.
“Under the leadership of the County Governor, the Kitui County wage bill has constantly exceeded the statutory limit, an issue that has unfailingly been raised by the Controller of Budget and the Auditor General in their annual audit reports.” The impeachment motion reads.
Failure to Constitute Public service board
According to the Ngilu impeachment motion, Since the expiry of the term of the County Public Service Board in June 2019 the County Governor has failed to propose names of credible persons to the county assembly for consideration and approval for appointment in the board.
Gross violation of the Public Finance Management Act
According to a report by the Public Investment and Accounts committee of Kitui County Assembly, documents used to process payments for Kitui Rugby sevens were fraudulently altered.
“Ridiculous as it may sound the county governor and her executive paid a company known as Laugh Industry Limited (CHURCHILL) a sum of Kshs. 5,220,000 inclusive of VAT and a sum of Kshs. 3,095,500/= to the police as fuel and other allowances. One is left to wonder why the County paid such amount to the police officers who were performing their duties under the pay of the National Government. Suffice to say that the OCPD for Kitui declined to have received any such payments.” The impeachment motion reads.
Committed crimes under Section 96, 391 and 393, of the Penal Code
After County Treasury offices caught fire, The County Assembly formed an ad hoc committee to investigate the said fire incidents. In its report, the committee acknowledges that the fire at the County Treasury Office
conveniently occurred at a period when the County Assembly was in serious pursuit of the County Executive due to numerous irregularities and anomalies regarding procurement and prudent use of the public funds for the previous financial years.
Undermining the Authority of the County Assembly
The County Assembly passed a motion to stop ferrying of sand out of the County. The County Executive is accused of uplifting the ban without consulting the County Assembly.