The Kenyan Senate late on Thursday confirmed the impeachment of the governor of the capital Nairobi Mike Mbuvi Sonko for various offences including gross misconduct and abuse of office.
The senators voted 27-16 in favour to remove Sonko, who denied allegations and argued that the process to oust him was flawed.
Earlier this month, a majority of ward representatives voted to impeach the governor who has faced a tumultuous time in office particularly over the last few months after ceding certain key functions to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.
This was the second attempt to impeach Sonko after a court order in February halted a process to have an impeachment motion against him tabled.
The Speaker of the Senate Kenneth Lusaka early on Friday then issued a gazette notice confirming Sonko’s removal from office.
With no deputy in place, County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura is set to take over as acting county governor. His swearing in which was scheduled to take place on Friday, however, was postponed after the presiding judge was late for the event.
This is the second confirmation of an impeachment of a governor in the East African nation this year. In January, Ferdinand Waititu was removed as the governor of Kiambu County over allegations of corruption, violating the constitution and gross misconduct.
Elsewhere, another county gubernatorial in the country seat fell vacant following the death of Nyamira County governor John Nyagarama.
According to local media outlet, the Daily Nation, Nyagarama died at a hospital in the capital Nairobi on Friday. The 74-year-old had reportedly been admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) for more than a month.
The governor’s family said he developed breathing problems after his lungs collapsed, according to the Daily Nation.
President Uhuru Kenyatta led tributes to the late governor describing him as a “friendly, approachable, wise, witty and kind leader.”
“President Kenyatta has mourned Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama, who passed away Friday morning, as a distinguished and true servant of the people whose contribution to the development of the tea sector in Kenya and service to the people of Nyamira County shall be dearly missed,” a statement from the presidency said.