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HomePOLITICSMeru Governor Kawira Mwangaza's Alleged UDA Move: A Political Gamble with Legal...

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s Alleged UDA Move: A Political Gamble with Legal Risks

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s Alleged UDA Move: A Political Gamble with Legal Risks

Meru County Governor Kawira Mwangaza may have publicly announced her decision to join President William Ruto’s UDA without any proof of registration and membership certificate.

If she indeed proves her new membership with UDA, she may have shot herself in the foot following her decision to join the ruling party.

But before she is included in the list of the UDA party, returns must be filed with the Office Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) showing she has changed status.

Ms Mwangaza was elected in the August 9, 2022 general election as an independent candidate based on the provisions of Article 85 of the constitution on the eligibility of one to stand as an independent candidate.

It states: “Any person is eligible to stand as an independent candidate for election if the person is not a member of a registered political party and has not been a member for at least three months immediately before the date of the election.”

There is however a lacuna in law, the constitution and the subsidiary law on the status of leaders elected as independent candidates joining political parties midstream their terms.


Section 14 of the Political Parties Act, 2022 provides for the resignation from a political party but does not address that of an independent candidate, joining a party.

Therefore, once the returns of Governor Mwangaza’s membership with UDA are filed with the ORPP, she stands a candidate for removal from office for abandoning her independent candidate status and joining a political party.

Now, having “joined” UDA, Governor Mwangaza is left with no option but to resign as a Meru Governor and seek a fresh mandate from the people of Meru on the UDA ticket.

As per the constitution in Article 182 (1), it provides for how a vacancy in the office of a County Governor comes about.

The Article states that the office of the county governor shall become vacant if the holder of the office dies, resigns and in writing, addressed to the speaker of the County Assembly. 

A person also ceases to be a County Governor if the person is convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for at least 12 months, is removed from office under “this” constitution or ceases to be eligible to be elected county governor under Article 180 (2) of the constitution.

Now, Article 180 (1) of the constitution states that the county governor shall be directly elected by the voters registered in the county, on the same day as a general election of Members of Parliament, being the second Tuesday in August, in every fifth year.

ALSO READ: Governor Mwangaza Officially Joins Ruto’s UDA

It goes on in sub-article 2 to state that to be eligible for election as county governor, a person must be eligible for election as a Member of the County Assembly (MCA).

To be eligible for election as an MCA, one is required to satisfy the requirements of Article 193 (1) (c) (ii) of the constitution.

This provision states that unless disqualified, a person is eligible for election as a member of a county assembly if the person is either nominated by a political party or an independent candidate supported by at least five hun­dred registered voters in the ward concerned.

Sometime back, Isiolo County Governor Abdi Guyo claimed to have left his Jubilee Party for UDA.

However, to date, his supposed new party is yet to file returns with the ORPP showing his changed party status because he knows the consequences.

 So, Governor Mwangaza “joining” UDA could be another red herring.

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s Alleged UDA Move: A Political Gamble with Legal Risks