NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – Governors are headed for bitter court battles with the Senate, days after the removal from office of Martin Wambora, and indication that more county chiefs were being targeted over alleged financial impropriety.
Already, the Council of Governors has filed a case before the Supreme Court seeking interpretation of the law, to determine if Wambora’s removal from office was procedural.
The Council of Governors want the Supreme Court to determine if the County Assembly is under obligation to accord a Governor an opportunity to respond to the issues raised and to appear before the Assembly or any of its committees before voting on the matter, in the interest of the rules of natural justice and fairness.
They also want to know if the Senate has powers to summon a Governor to personally appear before it to answer questions on public financial management.
On Monday, a lobby group also moved to court to stop the Senate from summoning nine other Governors over alleged financial mismanagement.
The High Court certified the application by the International Legal Consultancy Group as urgent, and directed the lobby to serve the suit papers on the Senate and its Clerk, in readiness for an inter-partes hearing on Tuesday.
The lobby wants the Senate Standing Committee on Economic and Finance barred from summoning Governors from Bungoma, Bomet, Kiambu, Kitui, Kisumu, Nakuru, Narok, Tana River and Wajir Counties over financial management.
The lobby’s lawyer Peter Wanyama argues that the summonses contravene Article 226(2) of the constitution which provides that an accounting officer of a national public entity is accountable to the National Assembly for its financial management.
He contends that officers in counties are accountable to the County Assembly for financial management and the Senate would be usurping that power by purporting to summon Governors.
Governors Isaac Ruto, Ken Lusaka, William Kabogo, Julius Malombe, Jack Ranguma, Kinuthia Mbugua, Samuel Tunai, Hussein Dado and Ahmed Abdullahi received summons dated February 8, 2014 to appear before the Senate Committee.