A group of women leaders from Meru County has taken a firm stance in the controversy surrounding the impeachment of Governor Kawira Mwangaza, rejecting claims that her removal from office is a gender issue.
Instead, they argue that her impeachment and the challenges she has faced are not due to her being a woman but rather stem from her lack of experience and leadership ability.
In a compelling statement, the women leaders drawn from several parts of Meru have urged both the Council of Governors (CoG) and national leaders not to interfere with the decisions made by the County Assembly.
They reference similar impeachment processes in the past, such as the Nairobi case during the 2017-2022 term, where national leaders and the CoG did not intervene, setting a precedent for non-interference in county matters.
Moreover, the union of women leaders has requested that national leaders respect the decision of the President and his deputy, allowing Meru residents to address their issues and asserting that they are in the process of rectifying any mistakes made during the elections.
Karimi Njeru, one of the outspoken women leaders, emphasized,
“The one year in office that Kawira Mwangaza has had has proven to be the face of impunity, destruction, discrimination, and disunity. That is why we, the women of Meru as a whole, support the impeachment of Kawira Mwangaza.”
Mugure Wahome added that the governor had been given an opportunity, but Meru County had faced challenges and a lack of development during her tenure.
In yet another a significant setback for Governor Mwangaza, the Court of Appeal in Nyeri on Friday dismissed her petition seeking to block her impeachment. The three-judge bench, comprising Justices Jamila Mohamed, Luka Kimaru, and Aggrey Muchelule, ruled that the court lacks jurisdiction to consider her case before the constitutional and legal process has run its course.
Governor Mwangaza faced unanimous impeachment by the Meru County Assembly, with all 59 Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) present voting in favor of the motion to remove her from office, while ten MCAs were absent during the vote.
The allegations against Governor Mwangaza include misuse of public funds, gross misconduct, contempt of the county assembly and court, among other charges. This impeachment marks the second time she has faced such proceedings, with her fate now resting with the Senate, which will ultimately decide whether to uphold or overturn the impeachment.
The impeachment of Governor Kawira Mwangaza and the subsequent debate on gender-related claims have sparked discussions and differences of opinion within Meru County. While some assert that gender is not the primary issue in her removal, others continue to advocate for gender equity in politics and governance. The Senate’s decision will be crucial in determining the outcome of this contentious issue.
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