Kiambu Women Representative Gathoni wa Muchomba found herself on the receiving end of her electorates’ anger following her remarks in opposition of MPs pay cut. Several Kiambu residents expressed their disappointment with the first time parliamentarian and threatened to recall her. The irate electorate have even set up a Telegram channel to ensure those who do not have access to the physical petition also have the opportunity to help recall her.
— Kwani ni ninii? (@Ivisu_) August 24, 2017
At the time of publishing this article an online petition had attracted 127 signatures out of the 1,000,000 target. The petition can be found here.
The threats seem to have worked because she took to Twitter to issue an apology for her remarks while at the same time claiming that she was misquoted. Wa Muchomba swallowed the humble pie and said that she will “gladly and humbly” accept whatever the SRC decides should be the pay for MPs. “I never really looked at the money, I was looking at an opportunity to serve my people more,” Wa Muchomba said while on an interview at Citizen TV.
— Gathoni Wa Muchomba (@wa_muchomba) August 24, 2017
While on wa Muchomba’s case, it would be prudent to examine what it takes to recall an elected member of parliament. The Elections Act (2011) provides that a parliamentarian can be recalled due to the following reasons;
1). Is found, after due process of the law, to have violated the provisions of Chapter Six of the Constitution
2). Is found, after due process of the law to have mismanaged public resources;
3). Is convicted of an offence under the Elections Act.
The recall of a parliamentarian has to be filed with the IEBC in writing and has to be signed by the petitioner. The petition shall specify the grounds for recall and needs to be accompanied with a list of names of voters in the constituency or county that shall constitute at least thirty percent (30%) of registered voters, and at least fifteen percent (15%) of voters in more than half of the wards in the county. The list also need to be accompanied with a fee prescribed for such a petition (In this case Kshs 250,000). It is worth noting that the list of voters has to contain names, voters card number, national I.D. card/passport number and signatures of those supporting the petition.
The petitioner also has to be a voter in the constituency or county of the individual being recalled and must have been registered to vote in the election for which the recall is being sought. The process of compiling the list of voters in support of the petition shall be conducted within a period of 30 days after filing the petition. The IEBC shall then verify the list of names within a period of 30 days upon receipt of the petition. Once satisfied that all conditions have been met, the electoral commission issue a notice of recall to the Speaker within a period of fifteen days. It shall then conduct a recall election within ninety days of publication of the recall notice. The recall election shall be conducted by simple majority through secret ballot. If the parliamentarian Is recalled, a by-election shall be conducted where the recalled member is eligible to contest.
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