In an impressive show of political tenacity, Kawira Mwangaza, Governor of Meru, has been named the top-performing governor in a comprehensive study by Politrack Africa. This ranking comes after a challenging eight-month tenure, during which Mwangaza deftly navigated several controversies.
The study, which monitored the performance of governors since their recent election, declared Mwangaza the frontrunner with a score of 53.7%. This was despite facing significant challenges immediately after her inauguration as Meru’s first governor.
Mwangaza eclipsed Abdulswamad Nassir of Mombasa, who trailed her closely with a rating of 52.2%. Murang’a Governor Irungu Kang’ata placed third at 50.7%, while Isiolo’s Abdi Hassan Guyo and Elgeyo-Marakwet’s Wesley Kipyegon Rotich shared the fourth spot, both scoring 49.8%.
The list of 20 high-achieving governors featured six of the seven female governors elected in August 2022, showcasing an unprecedented rise of women in these influential roles.
Following Mwangaza, Gladys Wanga of Homabay claimed the sixth spot with 49.3%, and Nakuru’s Susan Kihika placed eighth with 47.9%. Embu’s pioneer female governor, Cecily Mbarire, secured the 13th position with 46.2%, while Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru ranked 16th with 44.9%. Kwale’s Fatuma Achani, the final female governor on the list, secured the 18th spot with 44.2%.
However, Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti did not make the cut, and Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga closed the list in the 20th position with 43.6%. Nonetheless, all 20 governors achieved a ranking above 43%.
Mwangaza’s ascendancy is noteworthy, given her survival of an impeachment motion barely four months into her tenure. This came after 67 members of the county assemblies (MCAs) voted to impeach the governor on charges ranging from nepotism, illegal appointments and dismissals, to incitement and public financial management violations.
These charges were dismissed by an 11-member committee, chaired by Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale. The committee found no substantial evidence against Mwangaza and issued a stern warning to MCAs across the country against hasty impeachment motions.
“The MCAs should take this as a lesson,” Khalwale advised. “They should not assume that an impulsive decision to impeach a governor will always be successful. These matters are referred to the Senate, a discerning upper chamber, not to a group of rash decision-makers.”