Exploring The Impeachment Threats Against Governor Kimani wa Matangi

By The Weekly Vision Reporter

Kiambu County Governor Kimani wa Matangi is grappling with the threat of impeachment from Members of the County Assembly (MCAs). Reports suggest that the governor and a majority of the MCAs are at odds with the governor alleging that the MCAs are being funded by a local politician.

The deputy president, Rigathi Gachagua has tried to broker a peace deal between the governor and MCAs to no avail. MCAs insist the governor must leave office over allegations of mismanagement of county resources. In the run-up to the last elections, Mr Wa Matangi enjoyed the backing of DP Gachagua, whereas his adversaries Moses Kuria and William Kabogo were linked with William Ruto. It is reported that approximately 40 out of 86 MCAs and some MPs are in Governor Wamatangi’s faction, while the remaining officials are uniting behind Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa. 

Discontented MCAs have even urged government investigative bodies to move in swiftly and conduct investigations into the alleged misuse of public funds. The governor is alleged to have approved a temporary imprest of Ksh. 1,500,000 and Ksh. 750,000 for public participation on the 2023 County financial strategy paper and medium-term budget 2023/24-2025/26, which have been met with discontent from the MCAs. 

After scrutinising the imprest surrender documents, it came to light that the county government had exclusively selected 50 representatives from each county ward to engage in the process. This decision was made despite management’s affirmation that the budget process was open to all residents of the county for public participation. 

Investigations further reveal that the surrender vouchers were not supported by documents on how the representatives were selected to take part in the process. Further, there were no invitations for public participation or mechanisms to facilitate public communications and information access for the residents of Kiambu County.

In addition, the law makes it very clear that no allowance or facilitation is paid to the residents of the county to participate in the process. MCAs also claim that the governor has been using the county’s resources irregularly to buy loyalty from several MCAs. Sources say the governor approved a payment of Ksh. 1,083,600 to 21 members of the Kiambu County Assembly as a subsistence and travel allowance to attend a consultative workshop for the County Planning and Urbanisation Committee held in Nakuru from April 18, 2023, to April 20, 2023.

Further, the county government paid a total of Ksh.637,000 to a local hotel for the provision of conference facilities to Members of the County Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee to discuss the budget estimates for the 2023–2024 financial year.

However, there was no explanation on why the activities of the County Assembly were funded by the County Executive, yet they have their budget, contrary to Section 104(1) of the Public Finance Management (County Government) Regulation, 2015.

It was further noted that the allowances amounting to Ksh. 1,720,600 were not recorded as imprest or surrendered; hence, the payment was irregular as the County Assembly has its budget.

Investigations further reveal that an amount of Ksh. 12,730,000 was paid as allowances to players, team managers, and coaches for the 9th edition of KICOSCA games in Kisumu County from January 15, 2023, to January 21, 2023.

However, the payment was not supported by proof of travel such as work tickets, back-to-office reports, an attendance register, a certificate of participation in the KICOSCA games, or evidence of the registration of teams and players. Further, the allowances were directly expensed before surrender; hence, the allowances issued were not accounted for.

Further, an amount of Kshs. 1,287,720 was paid to various officers under the Office of the Governor and Deputy Governor in respect of allowances for extraneous duties such as working early in the morning, lunch, and late in the evening. However, the extraneous allowance payments were not supported by prior approvals, acknowledgements of receipt of such payments by the officers, or attendance registers.