Seven governors are currently embroiled in conflicts and intense disputes in their respective counties, a situation that threatens their political futures, just one year after assuming office.
Among these governors are Kawira Mwangaza (Meru) and Amos Nyaribo (Nyamira), both of whom have faced threats of impeachment from county assembly members.
Dr. Eric Mutai (Kericho), Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni), James Orengo (Siaya), Wavinya Ndeti (Machakos), and Fernandes Barasa (Kakamega) have also faced strong criticisms regarding their relationships with their deputies, county assembly members, or senior government officials.
In Meru County, over 60 out of 69 county assembly members have signed a motion to impeach Governor Mwangaza. These assembly members accuse Governor Mwangaza of running county affairs without proper consultation and turning the county into a “family business.” The motion is set to be presented next month.
On Tuesday, it was reported that efforts to mediate the conflict, involving political heavyweights from the Mount Kenya region such as Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Cabinet Secretaries Kithure Kindiki (Interior), Mithika Linturi (Agriculture), and former governor Kiraitu Murungi, had failed.
This marks the second attempt by county assembly members to oust Governor Mwangaza, as she was saved by the Senate in December 2022.
In Nyamira County, county assembly members listed over ten reasons for the possible removal of Governor Nyaribo. These include allegations of violating the constitution, making improper staff hires, disregarding court orders, failure to remit public servants’ deductions, and nepotism in employment.
These reasons were presented when the motion to impeach Governor Nyaribo was introduced in the county assembly by Member of County Assembly Josiah Mang’era (Esise).
In Makueni County, Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior held a sudden meeting on Tuesday, where he strongly rebuked top county officials who have been airing grievances about his administration on social media.
Reports suggest that Governor Kilonzo is growing concerned about complaints from residents regarding the deteriorating healthcare services in county hospitals.
In Siaya County, allegations of corruption related to employment have surfaced within Governor Orengo’s administration, potentially costing millions of dollars. Additionally, disputes between Governor Orengo and Deputy Governor William Oduol remain unresolved.
Deputy Governor Oduol was previously saved by the Senate in June after county assembly members voted to impeach him.
In Kericho County, tensions between Dr. Mutai and Deputy Governor Fred Kirui emerged just a few months after their tenure began. Dr. Mutai has accused Mr. Kirui of disrespect, while Mr. Kirui claims that Dr. Mutai has forgotten “his people.” Some leaders, including Gachagua, have intervened to caution both parties against harming the Kenya First Government.
In Machakos County, Wavinya Ndeti has been at odds with Deputy Governor Francis Mwangangi. Their differences even led to the confiscation of an official vehicle, causing divisions among county assembly members.
In Kakamega County, a dispute erupted between Barasa and Deputy Governor Ayub Savula, with the former Member of Parliament for Lugari claiming to be a co-governor rather than a deputy to Barasa. The two eventually announced reconciliation after publicly blaming each other.