EMBU, Kenya, Apr 28 – Embattled Embu Governor Martin Wambora on Monday once again moved to the Kerugoya High Court to stop the Embu County Assembly from debating a second impeachment motion against him.
He moved to court on grounds that the fresh impeachment proceedings against him were similar to those annulled by the Kerugoya High Court and thus would expose him to double jeopardy.
Lady Justice Hedwig Ong’udi certified the matter as extremely urgent and ordered that the suit be heard on Tuesday afternoon, the same time the assembly was slated to debate Wambora’s impeachment.
Embu County Assembly Speaker Kariuki Mate, County Assembly Clerk Jim Kauma, the Embu County Assembly and the impeachment motion mover Ibrahim Swaleh have been named as respondents and were directed to file replying affidavits by 11am on Tuesday.
In the application filed by lawyers Wilfred Nyamu and David Njoroge, Wambora said his rights would be infringed upon if the impeachment process was allowed to kick off before the end of three months.
“The particulars of the motion are similar to the ones moved on January 4. Similar charges cannot be prepared afresh before the lapse of at least three months as provided by section 33 (8) of the County Government Act. It would amount to double jeopardy which is a cardinal principle of natural justice,” Wambora stated in an affidavit.
There followed drama at the Embu County Assembly when Wambora’s lawyer was barred from serving the court summons.
Nyamu who arrived at the County Assembly precincts at 4.45pm was turned away.
He said he was made to, “cool his heels,” at the reception past 5pm when he was told he could not be seen.
On Sunday, a last ditch effort to stop the commencement of debate on the motion to impeach Wambora collapsed after Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) skipped a reconciliation meeting organised by the church.
The MCAs said calls for a dialogue could not be entertained since the current debate revolved around integrity issues.
“The only issue the assembly has raised relates to corruption and management of impunity involving Wambora and cannot be negotiations over that especially when the issues raised have not been mitigated. County Assembly of Embu will not allow personal problem of the Governor of Embu to be the problem of the entire county. Let him carry his own cross,” Swaleh said.
He continued to explain that Wambora’s supporters had in any case already threatened the Assembly with dissolution and were collecting signatures to that effect.
“Those collecting signatures are dreaming. The County Assembly is performing its duty. We will not be intimidated,” he said.
Embu Catholic Bishop Paul Kariuki however maintained that dialogue was the best way forward as there was immense pressure on them from Embu residents to have the dispute resolved amicably.