, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – Embu Governor Martin Wambora on Monday obtained court orders barring the Senate from commencing impeachment proceedings against him.
Lady Justice Hedwig Ong’udi barred the Senate from debating Wambora’s impeachment until a previous petition filed by Wambora against the Embu County Assembly is heard on February 11.
“In the interest of justice and preservation of the subject matter of the petition herein, the orders sought herein ought to be granted,” she found.
Through the petition, Wambora had also sought to bar the Embu County Assembly from debating two motions that recommended his removal from office.
He had also successfully obtained an injunction toward this end but the Embu County Assembly Speaker Kariuki Mate sanctioned the debate on the grounds that the Court was infringing on their mandate.
Wambora therefore also instituted contempt of court proceedings against Mate, Embu County Clerk Jim Kauma and the Embu County Assembly.
Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro had on Friday called for a special sitting of the upper house on Tuesday in order to form a committee that would preside over impeachment hearings against Wambora.
When seeking the injunction Wambora had contended that the Senate hearings would be based on an illegality given the impeachment was in direct contravention of a court order.
Monday’s court order follows calls from The National Alliance (TNA) for the Senate to return the impeachment request back to the County Assembly on the same grounds.
“As a party we are saying to our members of the Senate that they must come up to defend the process of law, not the Governor get it right, by insisting that the Embu Assembly must restart the process a fresh,” Onyango Oloo, the TNA Secretary General, demanded on Monday.
In the event that the Assembly did find for the second time that Wambora had indeed sabotaged the Embu economy after the Feb 11 hearing, Oloo said the party would not stand in the way of Wambora’s impeachment.
The Embu County Assembly impeached Wambora on Jan 28 for alleged abuse of office and corruption in what was an unprecedented move in Kenya’s history.