NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – Embu Governor Martin Wambora who is facing an impeachment process has demanded that the movers of the Motion to eject him and the County Assembly Speaker be summoned by the Senate Committee investigating graft allegations against him.
Wambora through his lawyers Wilfred Nyamu and Peter Wanyama told the Senate Committee that the County Assembly Speaker Justus Mate should be summoned to explain the steps taken to pass the Motion.
“They may give evidence and take us through the circumstances under which this Motion was commenced and also produce the documents (minutes, letters)… these documents cannot speak for themselves. The Committee cannot be expected to take judicial notice of the documents that have been submitted by the County Assembly,” Nyamu stated.
Lawyers representing the Embu County Assembly had informed the House team which kicked off public hearings on Monday that it does not intend to call any witnesses.
Motions to remove Governor Wambora and his Deputy from office were filed by Deputy Speaker Ibrahim Swaleh and Nthawa Ward Representative Ngare Makenge.
Twenty two Members of the County Assembly voted in favour of the motion despite a court order barring them from debating the motion until a case before court was heard and determined.
Three others voted against it, while another eight (considered to be Wambora’s supporters) walked out in protest. The Assembly has 33 members.
On Monday, Wambora stressed before the Senate Committee that his impeachment was laced with malice and mischief on the part of Speaker Mate, who had vowed to wage war on him after a County Executive Member exposed irregularities in the payment of the County Service Board.
“It was after my County Secretary raised this issue on December 30, that is when all hell broke loose. Mr Chairman, that is when the war was declared and there is evidence to show that the war was declared by the Speaker,” he said as he referenced the Senate team to dossier containing correspondence from the Controller of Budget, Salaries and Remuneration Commission and Transition Authority.
Wambora is hopeful that the Senate will accord him justice and fair hearing, something he claims the County Assembly representatives denied him as they went ahead to approve an impeachment motion against him and his deputy.
“The impeachment process that was decided by 22 MCAs who never consulted their Ward residents was intended to acquire power through the back door against a popularly elected innocent Governor who enjoys the confidence of thousands of his residents, is a tragedy of time,” claimed the embattled Governor.
His Deputy Dorothy Nditi who is represented by lawyer Kibe Mungai asked the Committee to rule whether the hearing should continue with the pending constitutional reference case she filed before the High Court in Embu.
The Senate will decide Governor Wambora’s fate during a special sitting slated from this Friday; this will be after the Committee submits a report and recommendations following its investigations on the graft allegations.
If the report is supported by at least 24 elected Senators, then the Governor and his deputy will be sent packing.
The Embu County Assembly claims Wambora authorised the face-lift of the Embu Stadium whose cost rose from Sh8 million to Sh42 million, and the purchase of Sh35 million worth of maize seed without tendering directly.
Wambora’s lawyer however objected to the inclusion of a charge suggesting that he intended to sponsor Ward Representatives to travel to Rwanda upon which they would have been paid a daily allowance of Sh26,000.
Members of Senate Committee led by Boni Khalwale explained that the proceedings are not political but an administrative process, and that what is at stake is the good governance of the public office.
“We are not going to be tired even if we are going to through this process with all the 47 Governors. The Senate will not be justified because we agree with the County Assembly or we dismiss charges against the Governor.”
“We will handle this issue in a fair and in a professional manner, that even people won’t see a need of misusing this process,” said the Kakamega Senator.