NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 11 – Embu Governor Martin Wambora says the County Assembly has failed to support claims that he should be impeached for abuse of office and gross misconduct.
Lawyer Peter Wanyama told the Senate Committee investigating Wambora that the legal team acting for the Embu County Assembly was unable to produce evidence linking the Governor to the charges.
“Do these allegations link to the Governor in anyway? Is there a co-relation direct or indirect that the Governor indeed violated the provision of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act and Regulations?” he posed.
“Where is the nexus, and if there is a nexus then we will go to the Constitution Article 181 to make the final decision on whether that is gross in accordance with the constitutional threshold.”
His other lawyer Fred Nyamu claimed that Embu County Speaker Justus Mate was trying to assume the Governor’s seat illegally.
Nyamu said the accounting officers were the ones who were supposed to respond to the charges pressed against the embattled county boss.
“It is a misconceived position taken by the Assembly to accuse the Governor of failing to stop the board from creating positions without the approval of the House. The accounting officers are the people who ought to have been summoned. They are the people who should answer those questions and not the Governor. They should have exhausted those provisions before impeaching the Governor,” submitted Nyamu.
Wambora took to the stand and said he was consulted by the County Service Board when it advertised to fill the positions.
He also said the positions sought to be filled were not new posts but were being re-filled after officers occupying them were recalled by the Transition Authority.
Wambora said he did not have a written contract for the contested renovation of Embu Stadium. He also revealed that he had not seen tender documents for the projects.
The Governor said he was never involved in the procurement of anything for the county.
His lawyers accused the MCAs of rushing the impeachment motion before they had even raised the issue with the County Executive Committee Member of Finance who is tasked with tendering and procurement.
“The Governor cannot be in each office. He cannot be the procurement officer for this case. If there is any anomaly, if there is any problem in procurement then the first person should be the County Executive in charge of Finance. The County Assembly did not do that. They just went for the Governor,” added Nyamu.
The Governor’s legal team attracted tongue-lashing from the Senate Committee members after they claimed an audit done by the Auditor General on how finances were used by the Governor and his county government tabled by the County Assembly should be dropped from the evidence.
“The said report is not official. It cannot be authentic. It cannot be said to apply in this impeachment because it had not been adopted by the County Assembly. We challenge them to table proceedings adopting the report,” said Nyamu.
However, the Senators Khalwale, James Orengo and Kipchumba Murkomen said the Auditor General’s office is constitutionally mandated report on the use of public funds and did not require to be adopted by the Assembly in order for the report to be authentic.
“The Office of the Auditor-General is an independent constitutional body. It performs an important job. The report raises serious concerns and you say the Governor should have ignored the report because it was not adopted by the County Assembly?” posed Orengo.
Charges against the Deputy Governor Dorothy Nditi will be laid before the committee as the hearing continues.