Senators impeach Kisii deputy governor Robert Monda

Kisii Deputy Governor Robert Monda before the Senate for his impeachment hearing on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

Kisii Deputy Governor Robert Monda before the Senate for his impeachment hearing on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

What you need to know:

  • Kisii Governor Simba Arati now has 14 days to appoint a new DG if Dr Monda does not decide to go to court to challenge his removal.

Kisii Deputy Governor Robert Monda has been impeached by the Senate after senators voted to uphold all four charges brought against him by the Kisii County Assembly.

The former Nyaribari Chache MP is the first deputy governor to be removed from office through impeachment since the counties were established in 2013.

A total of 11 governors and three deputies have been impeached by Members of County Assemblies since 2013, but only two – former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) – were successfully removed from office, with the others being rescued by the senate and the courts. Mr Monda is the fourth deputy governor to be impeached by a county assembly.

At the heart of the allegations that sent him home was a Sh800,000 bribe from Dennis Mokaya with the promise of securing him a commercial manager position at the Gusii Water and Sanitation Company, as well as the arrest and detention of his own brother, Reuben Monda, for cutting down some trees on their family land.

With most senators poking holes in his defence while castigating his fitness to hold public office, it was only a matter of when, not if, Dr Monda would make history.

It did not take long for the obvious to be confirmed as the division bell rang and the clock ticked towards midnight.

When the voting began, the senators voted overwhelmingly to uphold all four charges against the DG.

On the first charge of gross violation of the Constitution, 39 senators voted in favour, three against and a single abstention.

On the second charge of abuse of office, the numbers were the same.

On the third charge of gross misconduct, 35 senators voted in favour, seven against and one abstained.

On the fourth charge of crimes under national law, 32 voted in favour, 10 against and one abstained.

The abstention came from Kisii Senator Richard Onyonka, who said before the vote that he was not taking sides.

"The result of the votes indicates that the Senate has upheld all the charges and in accordance with Article 181 of the Constitution and Article 33 of the County Government Act, the Senate has resolved to remove Dr Robert Monda from office by way of impeachment. He is therefore relieved of his duties," said Senate Speaker Amason Kingi.

Kisii Governor Simba Arati now has 14 days to appoint a new DG if Dr Monda does not decide to go to court to challenge his removal.

During the debate, Senate Majority Leader Boni Khalwale supported the removal of the DG.

"The deputy governor had expended a lot of energy twisting the evidence of the two women (Lucy Wahito and Gladys Aming'a). They showed integrity by doing the right thing when no one was watching," said the Kakamega senator.

Dr Monda is said to have sent Ms Wahito, the Gusii Water and Sanitation Company managing director, Sh100,000 through M-Pesa in an attempt to influence her into employing Mr Mokaya, a request which was not accepted and the money was returned.

In his defence, Dr Monda said he had erroneously sent the Sh100,000 to Ms Wahito instead of Gladys Aming'a, the Kisii Chief Officer for Health, for transport service.

Kitui Senator Enock Wambua said Chapter Six of the Constitution requires public officers to bring honour and dignity to the nation, a test Dr Monda failed.

"I leave it to the conscience of the nation to judge whether the deputy governor's body language and conduct are fit for him to hold public office," Mr Wambua said.

"Not only has he lied on oath and on record, but he is at the centre of a conspiracy to lie to the Senate in order to exonerate himself. He and his co-conspirators must have a dim view of the Senate," he added.

Muranga Senator Joe Nyutu said: "I will stand with the poor who seek scholarships but don't get them because people with connections somewhere can't let them."

Nyeri Senator Wahome Wamatinga added: "What kind of leaders will we be if we extort money from our youth? It is the responsibility of this House to tell them that this country belongs to them irrespective of where they come from. It was very painful to see the family being torn apart".

Nominated Senator Hamida Kibwana said: "One woman miscarried after 12 years of trying to have a child. I urge this House to vote wisely because justice delayed is justice denied.

According to Mr Mokaya, his wife was in distress after he failed to secure the job having sold the family business to get the Sh800,000 bribe money. As a result, of the stress, she had a miscarriage.

Nakuru Senator Tabitha Karanja said the deputy governor's biggest mistake was to call a father as a witness against his son.

"I know a son can sell his father, but a father can never sell his own son. Please return the money and reunite the family," she said.

Joseph Misati, Mr Mokaya's father, was a key witness for Dr Monda, who disputed bribery accusations levelled against the DG, claiming the money sent to him through his son and Mr Misati's wife was to repay a longstanding loan he had borrowed from the former MP.

Senator Okongo Omogeni of Nyamira added: "The one vote I will carry will be in support of the boychild. A boychild who has lost his child and also had the misfortune of being disowned by his father. I will cast my vote with the many unemployed youths who cannot get jobs because they are asked to pay a bribe."

In his concluding statement, Dr Monda said he was embarrassed by the scenario the Senate had to go through in the two days.

"When the House makes a decision, the kind of scenario that the House has been put through yesterday and today, I am embarrassed as a person to come here to discuss issues of my own family. It is an embarrassment that I am here on a fabrication to settle political scores of the past."

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.