Kenya: Migori Tense as Motion to Impeach Governor Obado Set for Tabling

Police are pictured around the Migori County Assembly premises ahead of the tabling of a motion to impeach Governor Okoth Obado.
8 September 2020

A showdown is looming in Migori County over an impending motion to impeach Governor Okoth Obado on allegations of embezzling Sh73 million public funds.

Ahead of the expected tabling of the motion in the assembly on Tuesday afternoon, uncertainty has filled the county and tension has continued to rise.

MCAs have alleged threats and intimidation and there are claims that youths from Kisumu and the Sangwenyas in Migori will cause chaos during the sitting.

On Monday evening, reports indicated that unknown people had been spotted within the central business district in anticipation of the tabling of the motion, whose end result may be an end to Mr Obado's seven-year tenure as governor.

Lawmakers who had gone into hiding, fearing attacks over their positions on the matter, are expected to start trooping in.

Even Speaker Okoth said his life was in danger but noted the need for MCAs to be granted the freedom to make their own choices.

Security has been heightened, with focus on Migori town which will be the centre of action.

Path unclear

It is a wait-and-see situation as it is not clear whether MCAs in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will carry on with the impeachment motion or delay it longer to quell the rising tension.

The assembly appears split despite an ODM directive for ward representatives to back the motion against Mr obado.

As of Monday afternoon, it was not clear whether the mover of the motion had been identified and the motion forwarded to Speaker Boaz Okoth for approval.

Mr Okoth claimed on Tuesday morning that he had not received any notice of motion.

Order Paper

The motion, founded on investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), is expected to be tabled as the MCAs return from a recess.

But it has emerged that the House Business Committee, which should have met to plan the Order Paper for Tuesday afternoon, has not done so.

The revelations were made by an MCA who sought anonymity, saying the sensitivity of the matter.

Governor Obado was released on a Sh8.7 million cash bail or Sh20 million bond pending hearing and determination of the graft case.

ODM, led by politician Raila Odinga, wants Deputy Governor Mwita Mahanga to take over as the court barred the governor from office.

Some have accused the party of applying double standards in the anti-graft war.

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