How to impeach a President and a Governor in Kenya

State House Kenya
Shares

Checking executive power is a fundamental right that Governors and Presidents are not immune to. However because of the nature of their work being weighty, the process of removing them from office is quite laborious.

Impeachment of a President

The Constitution of Kenya in article 145 provides the grounds and process of impeaching a President.

(1) A member of the National Assembly, supported by at least a third of all the members, may move a motion for the impeachment of the President—
(a) on the ground of a gross violation of a provision of this Constitution or of any other law;
(b) where there are serious reasons for believing that the President has committed a crime under national or international law; or
(c) for gross misconduct.

(2) If a motion under clause (1) is supported by at least two-thirds of all the members of the National Assembly—
(a) the Speaker shall inform the Speaker of the Senate of that resolution within two days; and
(b) the President shall continue to perform the functions of the office pending the outcome of the proceedings required by this Article.

(3) Within seven days after receiving notice of a resolution from the Speaker of the National Assembly—
(a) the Speaker of the Senate shall convene a meeting of the Senate to hear charges against the President; and
(b) the Senate, by resolution, may appoint a special committee comprising eleven of its members to investigate the matter.

(4) A special committee appointed under clause (3) (b) shall—
(a) investigate the matter; and
(b) report to the Senate within ten days whether it finds the particulars of the allegations against the President to have been substantiated.

(5) The President shall have the right to appear and be represented before the special committee during its investigations.

(6) If the special committee reports that the particulars of any allegation against the President—
(a) have not been substantiated, further proceedings shall not be taken under this Article in respect of that allegation; or
(b) have been substantiated, the Senate shall, after according the President an opportunity to be heard, vote on the impeachment charges.

(7) If at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate vote to uphold any impeachment charge, the President shall cease to hold office.

If that happens as (7) above, the Deputy President shall be sworn in as President. Here, if he takes over when the President has done less than two and half years, the term will not be construed as a full term. Meaning he or she can now run for the constitutionally limited two terms. However if the tenure he incoming President (former Deputy President) runs for more than two and a half years, the term will be construed as one full term and he or she can only run once.

Impeachment of a Governor

The constitution in article 181 provides the basic reading of the impeachment of a Governor. This is then better enumerated in the County Governments Act.

(1) A county governor may be removed from office on any of the following grounds—
(a) gross violation of this Constitution or any other law;
(b) where there are serious reasons for believing that the county governor has committed a crime under national or international law;
(c) abuse of office or gross misconduct; or
(d) physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of office of county governor.

The County Government’s act 2012 provides that
33. Removal of a governor
(1) A member of the county assembly may by notice to the speaker, supported by at least a third of all the members, move a motion for the removal of the governor under Article 181 of the Constitution.

(2) If a motion under subsection (1) is supported by at least two-thirds of all the members of the county assembly—

(a) the speaker of the county assembly shall inform the Speaker of the Senate of that resolution within two days; and
(b) the governor shall continue to perform the functions of the office pending the outcome of the proceedings required by this section.

(3) Within seven days after receiving notice of a resolution from the speaker of the county assembly—

(a) the Speaker of the Senate shall convene a meeting of the Senate to hear charges against the governor; and
(b) the Senate, by resolution, may appoint a special committee comprising eleven of its members to investigate the matter.

(4) A special committee appointed under subsection (3) (b) shall—

(a) investigate the matter; and
(b) report to the Senate within ten days on whether it finds the particulars of the allegations against the governor to have been substantiated.

(5) The governor shall have the right to appear and be represented before the special committee during its investigations.

(6) If the special committee reports that the particulars of any allegation against the governor—

(a) have not been substantiated, further proceedings shall not be taken under this section in respect of that allegation; or
(b) have been substantiated, the Senate shall, after according the governor an opportunity to be heard, vote on the impeachment charges.

(7) If a majority of all the members of the Senate vote to uphold any impeachment charge, the governor shall cease to hold office.

(8) If a vote in the Senate fails to result in the removal of the governor, the Speaker of the Senate shall notify the speaker of the concerned county assembly accordingly and the motion by the assembly for the removal of the governor on the same charges may only be re-introduced to the Senate on the expiry of three months from the date of such vote.

(9) The procedure for the removal of the President on grounds of incapacity under Article 144 of the Constitution shall apply, with necessary modifications, to the removal of a governor.

(10) A vacancy in the office of the governor or deputy governor arising under this section shall be filled in the manner provided for by Article 182 of the Constitution.

Again the replacement of the Governor, just like of the President is by the Deputy Governor taking over with reference to the time frame, where two and half years may mean serving a full term or not.

However the difference with the two processes is that for impeaching the President, the Constitution and no other law provides for a limit as to when next one can initiate such a motion. For Governors, it can only be after three months from the date the Senate voted. Perhaps the reasoning here is to avoid abuse of the process by Counties while for President the belief that it is difficult for someone to try to impeach the President twice either during his or her tenure or closer to the first attempt.

More Stories
Safaricom Jazz Festival 2014 Review