NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – The High Court in Kerugoya has directed that Embu Deputy Governor Dorothy Nditi assumes the duties of the office of the Governor in an acting capacity, until a petition filed in court over the impeachment of Governor Martin Wambora is heard and determined.
The three judge bench however ruled that Nditi should not be sworn in to avoid confusion in the event that Wambora is reinstated since she would also be entitled to serve the remainder of the term as governor.
Justices Cecilia Githua, Hedwig Ong’udi and Boaz Olao stopped the gazettement of the impeachment saying the embattled governor’s application had merits.
“Where the constitution decrees a specific procedure to be followed in the enactment of legislation, both Houses of Parliament are bound to follow that procedure. If Parliament violates the procedural requirements of the supreme law of the land, it is for the courts of law, not least the Supreme Court to assert the authority and supremacy of the Constitution,” they said.
Citing a precedent case pitting the Speaker of the Senate and the Attorney General, the judges further said that they were not seeking to interfere with the running of Parliament but to ensure the rule of law was followed.
“This court would not be averse to questioning Parliamentary procedures that are formulated by the Houses to regulate their internal workings as long as the same do not breach the Constitution,” they said.
They were also not persuaded that there will be any power vacuum pending the hearing and determination of the petition.
The Court directed that the case be heard on a daily basis from March 18 to end the great public interest in the suit.
Wambora’s lead counsel Paul Muite agreed with the ruling and conquered that all the seven petitions be consolidated into one file since they all revolved and related to one issue.
Muite said they were unable to effectively prosecute the contempt case against the Senate and the Embu County Assembly due to attacks on judicial officers.
“There are many insults on the judges and judicial officers. Nothing is as important to delivery of justice as courts asserting themselves,” he said.