Embu Governor, deputy first to face impeachment

January 28, 2014 4:35 pm
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County Speaker Kariuki Mate ruled that the order issued by Kerugoya High court Judge Cecilia Githua stopping the assembly from debating the matter was irregular since it did not have an official High Court seal/FILE
County Speaker Kariuki Mate ruled that the order issued by Kerugoya High court Judge Cecilia Githua stopping the assembly from debating the matter was irregular since it did not have an official High Court seal/FILE
EMBU, Kenya, Jan 28 – Members of the Embu County Assembly have passed a motion to impeach Governor Martin Wambora and his deputy, Dorothy Nditi over alleged abuse of office and corruption.

Deputy Speaker Ibrahim Swaleh and Nthawa ward representative Ngare Makenge had filed the motion which saw 22 members out of 28 who were present vote in support despite a court order barring the motion’s debate until February 5. The county assembly has 33 members.

As uncertainty reigned over whether the motion would proceed, County Speaker Kariuki Mate ruled that the order issued by Kerugoya High court Judge Cecilia Githua stopping the assembly from debating the matter was irregular since it did not have an official High Court seal.

He said it was wrong for the High Court to gag the County Assembly while it had already commenced the motion.

“It is necessary for court not to appear as if exercising managerial oversights over the County Assembly. It is necessary to ensure that orders of the court are not exposed to doubts and to questions of competence. The orders served to the Speaker were without the seal of the High court.

“The chair finds that the orders filed by the deputy registrar at Kerugoya, are incompetent to the extent that they don’t bear the seal of the High court. The County Assembly will not be injuncted by the order and shall proceed with the motion of impeachment,” he ruled.

There was tension within the County Assembly precincts as Embu county police Commander Willis Okello attempted to eject county clerk Jim Kauma so that he could serve him with a court order.

Embu West police boss Gasper Makau said they had a court order which bore the seal.

County lawyer Njuguna Njoroge said he had served a penal notice on Monday.

“Somebody should tell the police commander that this is not a kangaroo court. This is not a police station,” said Mate.

Contributing to the motion, Swaleh said Wambora had abetted corruption following a decision to ignore their recommendations that he fires county secretary Margaret Lorna Kariuki for failing to follow procurement laws.

He said the move to authorize a facelift of the Embu Stadium whose cost rose from Sh8million to Sh42million, and purchase of Sh35million maize seeds without undergoing tendering processes directly implicated the Governor since he was the appointing authority.

“The buck stops with the Governor Martin Wambora since he urged her not to step aside. He ignored our advice to ask her to resign or fire her. He knew the tendering process was not followed,” Swaleh said.

He alleged that the bill of quantity for the stadium was done after the tender was awarded and works that cost Sh8 million completed.

“We are the first county to move a motion of this kind and we are not malicious. We shelved it last week because we wanted those opposed to it to come and raise issues in the House. It is in black and white that Nyaga Wambora together with his team, are corrupt,” Swaleh said.

He accused Wambora of trying to frustrate them by inviting members on a tour of Rwanda ostensibly to study devolution.

“This is an attempt to bribe us. The tour would have cost the county at least Sh13million. When the county is on fire, it is the time he is thinking of going out to enjoy ourselves instead of giving us bursaries for the needy,” he charged.

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