In Kenya there are many reasons for impeachment or removal of a county governor.The laws of a governor are made by the parliament as mandated by the constitution.The senate is supposed to follow these laws as guidelines during impeachment.Impeachment is necessary as it keeps the governors on toes and makes them more accountable in their given responsibilities.
Valid reasons for impeachment
Removal of a county governor according to article 181 of the constitution include:
– Gross violation of the constitution or any other law.
-Misconduct and abuse of office.
-Physical or mental incapacity rendering them incapable to perform the office functions of a county governor.
-If he/she seriously commits a crime under national or international law and is jailed for more than 6 months.
Article 181 also mandates parliament to come up with laws and the procedures of impeachment in relation to the above grounds.
Impeachment at the county level
A member of the county assembly should move the motion through a notification to the speaker by writing in relation to the grounds of removal as per article 181 of the constitution.
The member must gain a support of two thirds of the house for the motion to move.If it goes through the speaker of the senate is notified by the county speaker within two days.The notification is usually by writing that county assembly has resolved and passed the impeachment.However the governor continues to perform the fuctions of the office waiting for the outcome of the removal process.
The senate and impeachment process
A meeting is convened by the speaker of the senate.It is usually to hear the charges that have been brought against the governor.A eleven members committee is then appointed to investigate the matter.All this should happen within seven days , that is , from the day the senate speaker received the notice of impeachment.The special committee should investigate the matter and give a report to the senate within ten days.The report should have proofs for the allegations brought against the governor.During the investigations the governor has the right to appear before the committee.
If the committee does not find proof of the allegations then no further proceedings are made .If proof is found the senate proceeds to vote the impeachment however it is on the assurance that the governor will receive a just and just and fair hearing.
If majority of the senators vote for the impeachment then the governor ceases to hold the office .If the majority senators vote against it then the speaker of senate notifies the speaker for county assembly by writing and the motion can be re-introduced again after 3 months from the day the motion is rejected by the senate.
Vacancy of the office of the county governor
Once the senate votes for the impeachment , the deputy governor should assume the office and perform duties of the office for the remaining term.
However , if the deputy governor is not eligible the speaker of the county assembly takes over but elections have to be held within 60 days after the speaker assumes office.