, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – “Remember at the end of the day, the court has the mandate to make the ultimate decision. So, even if the Senate decides to impeach the Embu Governor and the court orders otherwise, then their decision will be null and void.”
This warning was issued on Wednesday by Charles Nyachae, Chairman of the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, after the Senate formed a committee to probe claims against Embu Governor Martin Wambora in contravention of a court order.
“Even after the Governor obtained a court order to stop the process – in a remarkable act of impunity in similar fashion to the County Assembly – the Senate disregarded and disrespected the High Court. They proceeded to debate and pass a resolution to proceed with the impeachment process,” he added.
He said that though it was not in the commission’s place to decide whether to impeach or not, the manner in which the matter was being handled was unlawful.
“To knowingly disobey an order of the High Court is an assault on the rule of law and threatens the very basis of our constitutional order,” he warned.
Wambora on Monday obtained a court order 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.
However in a twist, The Senate on Tuesday went ahead and approved the formation of a committee to probe allegations facing Wambora, further deepening woes facing him.
The 11-member committee was formed during a special session convened on Tuesday afternoon, despite an order issued by the High Court in Embu on Monday.
House Speaker Ekwe Ethuro said the committee will be required to table a report within 10 days to determine Wambora’s fate.
“And whereas, pursuant to section 33(3)(b) of the County Governments Act, 2012 and standing order 65(1)(b) the Senate, by resolution, may appoint a special committee comprising 11 of its members to investigate the matter,” he had explained.
“Now therefore, pursuant to section 33(3)(b) of the County Governments Act, 2012 and standing order 65(1)(b), the Senate resolves to establish a Special Committee.”
The motion unanimously approved by the House was tabled by Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki who is also the Tharaka Nithi Senator in accordance with the County Government Act.