On 18th December 2019, the world woke up to the news that the president of the United States of America Donald J. Trump had been impeached. Twitter was on a frenzy with over 3 million tweets on the subject. Coming from a world that encourages democracy, you could read the emotions of people through their tweets.
Back at home, Kenyans were met by their match with the impeachment of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu by Kiambu County MCAs. The news was met by a mix of emotion with some people excited by the news and others disappointed that their ‘favorite’ candidate had been sent packing.
Taking a closer look at Kiambu County politics, the genesis of the impeachment was due to corruption issues that were facing the governor. He had been accused of lack of accountability in county resources by incurring unsustainable debts of over Sh4 billion, irregular procurement by diverting county tenders to favor him and his kin and awarding 2.1B for road tarmacking instead of the approved 1.4B. It is for these reasons that the MCAs impeached him on 20th December 2019.
The Kenyan Constitution under Article 145 allows for impeachment under the grounds of gross violation of a provision of this Constitution or of any other law, where there are serious reasons for believing that the President has committed a crime under national or international law and for gross misconduct.
Since the inception of devolution, all levels of power from the county to the national level have been marred by corruption. However, none of these issues have been resolved and none of those involved in the corrupt schemes have been prosecuted.
According to the constitution, upon the impeachment by MCAs, the issue should be tabled to the Senate for them to process and finalize the matter. After tabling the matter before the Senate, proceedings to determine the matter kicked off. Hon. Baba Yao was allowed to defend himself so that the Senate can make an informed judgment.
January 29th, 2020 will go down as a big day for the people of Kiambu County and Kenyans at large because at 8:00 PM Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka rubber-stamped the impeachment of Governor Waititu.
Does this mean that Kenya is ready to fight the war against corruption and punish the offenders?
This impeachment marks a new dawn for the country just like the BBI. We hope it will create and set the pace for dealing with the challenges we face such as corruption.