The motion for Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu’s impeachment will be tabled Wednesday following the High Court’s decision against stopping the process.
Justice Weldon Korir’s ruling last week, okaying the motion by majority leader Peter Kilonzo, kicked off a series of meetings, with both sides lobbying for support to either pass or defeat the motion.
Ms Ngilu is facing a spirited effort for her removal from office that was engineered by MCAs in the Wiper party, whose leader is politician Kalonzo Musyoka.
In the 54-member county assembly, Wiper enjoys the majority of 30 elected and nominated MCAs but two members – Kasee Musya (Kisasi) and James Musyoka (Kiomo Kyethani) broke ranks with their party and announced they’ll oppose the motion.
With 28 members remaining, the mover must win the support of eight MCAs from other parties to gather the requisite two thirds majority of 36 votes to see the motion through.
Ms Ngilu’s party, Narc, has 12 members but enjoys the support of MCAs from smaller political parties and independent lawmakers.
Members of the governor’s camp say they have the backing of about 25 MCAs and are sure the motion will fail but Mr Kilonzo said his camp has more than 36 supporters.
Lobbying for numbers has intensified with a caucus of 10 women MCAs throwing their weight behind Governor Ngilu.
The ward reps, led by Anastasia Mwathi of Mutito/Kaliku ward, said the motion is ill-motivated and aimed at distracting Ms Ngilu from the goals in her manifesto.
Ms Mwathi noted that MCAs must be allowed to represent the interests of the people who elected them, not political parties.
“We can’t allow bullying by big parties against a leader who was popularly elected by more than 170,000 votes” she told the Nation on Monday.
She said their proponents will face a huge embarrassment as the impeachment bid will collapse for lack of numbers.
The ten female MCAs include six from Ms Ngilu’s party, three from small political parties and an independent.
The assembly has 18 women MCAs out of the 54 elected and nominated members.
US-based law scholar Makau Mutua waded into the controversy at the weekend, criticising the assembly for seeking to oust the governor.
In a tweet, Prof Mutua urged MCAs to put Kitui people before “politics of personal destruction”.
“Think before you commit irreversible errors. Respect women leadership,” the law don said.
Meanwhile, Speaker George Ndotto has summoned Ms Ngilu to appear before the assembly Wednesday with strict instructions to bring only two legal counsels.
In a letter dated July 9, Mr Ndotto said if the governor chooses to appear in person, only two lawyers will be allowed at the county assembly grounds.
The letter rekindles memories of last week’s scuffle that saw Governor Ngilu’s lawyers assaulted and thrown out of the assembly by orderlies.
Lawyers Martin Oloo, Morris Kimuli and Stanley Kiima had gone to respond to summons issued by the Speaker.
Europe beckons for South African rugby after Kiwi snub
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jul 20 – World Cup-winning Springbok Schalk Brits believes the future of South African rugby lies in Europe after New Zealand said there was no room for sides from the republic in Super Rugby.
“All of this jet lag and flying across different time zones just does not work,” said the hooker who retired after the triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign.
“We have got so many South Africans playing in Europe and it would be awesome to see them in action here for European clubs.”
With New Zealand favouring a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition, South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux will address the media Tuesday about the way forward.
There has been no rugby in South Africa since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed 5,033 lives by late Sunday, the most in an African country.
Here, AFP Sport looks at the possibilities for the world champions Springboks and Super Rugby teams the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.
There has been speculation that the six-round annual tournament will be cut to four matches with New Zealand and Australia playing in South Africa only every second year.
That would be a huge blow for SA Rugby coffers as the century-old rivalry with the All Blacks makes them a huge drawcard.
South Africa might consider abandoning the Championship and pursuing a suggestion by former All Blacks Justin Marshall and Jeff Wilson for three-Test tours between the great rivals.
“British and Irish Lions tours are so successful because we look forward to them,” noted another ex-All Black, John Kirwan. The same could be said of an All Blacks-Springboks series.
Should South African franchises move north, would the Springboks follow suit and apply to join England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in a ‘Seven Nations’ championship?
Having the world champions on board would surely excite the organisers and costs would be greatly reduced if the Springboks played their three away matches on consecutive weekends.
England, Ireland, France and Wales, in particular, would bring freshness for rugby followers, who have not rushed to the turnstiles for Championship visits by Australia and Argentina.
Ask the SA Rugby treasurer for his ‘dream’ line-up and he would surely say a multi-Test tour by the All Blacks and participation in the ‘Seven Nations’.
Although not official yet, the reality is that New Zealand want to play some Australian sides and the Pacific Islands in a new competition while excluding South Africa and Argentina.
The original version, a Super 10 between 1993 and 1995, was a superb competition, but constant tinkering and expansion has led to waning interest in a difficult-to-follow event.
Even those supporting the Golden Lions of South Africa could not have derived too much satisfaction from a 94-7 thrashing of Japanese visitors the Sunwolves three years ago.
South Africa sides often battled with time differences in Australasia — New Zealand is 11 hours ahead of the republic — and were weary after four-match tours.
Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi says he would welcome Super Rugby ‘rejects’ the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers into an expanded edition.
“The tournament works well but could be even better if we added some South African teams,” he said, referring to a competition that also includes Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh teams.
But there may be no room for the two current South African Pro14 participants, the Cheetahs and Kings, who have experienced very different fortunes.
While the Cheetahs have been competitive, the Kings won just four of 55 matches in three seasons with some of the losing margins embarrassing.
The domestic competition has survived constant format changes to remain the vital ‘nursery’ from which Springboks emerge.
First staged in 1892, it was the bedrock of South African rugby until the dawn of professionalism after the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
As Test and Super Rugby fixtures took up an increasing amount of the season, the Currie Cup often battled for calendar space.
But it survived and this year could feature the four Super Rugby sides plus the Cheetahs, Kings, Griquas and Pumas, if play is possible amid the coronavirus.
Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19
Kenya’s coronavirus cases rise to 13,771 after 418 more infections
Kenya on Monday reported 418 more Covid-19 infections, raising the country’s tally to 13,771 since the virus was first confirmed on March 13.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman also reported four more deaths, raising the toll to 238. He rectified an earlier report about 19 deaths in a single day, which would have been the highest number ever recorded in Kenya.
The 418 new patients were found following the testing of 2,474 samples in the last 24 hours.
Four hundred and eight of them were Kenyans and 10 foreigners while male patients numbered 263 and female patients 155.
Dr Aman also announced that 494 patients had been discharged, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 5,616.
Of the recovered patients, 465 were under home care and the rest in hospitals.
More to follow