, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – The committee investigating the impeachment of Machakos Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala has finalised its public hearings after taking evidence from people drawn from the public and the county executives.
And as the aggrieved parties presented their closing statements, there were reports that Kiala had received death threats in a message sent to his mobile phone from an unidentified number where the sender wrote in Kiswahili that he was in the process of purchasing a gun and that the Deputy Governor should stop mentioning his name in the hearing.
Owing to this, the chair of the committee Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe asked that the number and message be retrieved and handed over to the police to ascertain the credibility and thereafter probe the matter.
The day saw two more witnesses, Hellena Kiilu (County Executive Decentralized Units and Urbanisation) and Francis Wambua (County Executive for Water and Sanitation) appear before the impeachment committee to give their account of events.
It turned out that various meetings had been held prior to the adoption of the motion to impeach the embattled Deputy Governor.
Owing to the witness statements and the opening statement presented by Kiala during Mondays’ hearing, his lawyer Antony Oluoch told the committee that his client’s impeachment was pre-determined long before the motion was passed by the Machakos County Assembly.
“We are saying that this impeachment process is initiated, motivated and driven by the Executive… by Alfred Mutua but remember Mr Chairman that at no time did this motion accord with the law.”
“Please explain to this committee why on the 9th of July prior to the date of the commencement of the impeachment proceedings you were signing an affidavit which has later been used in the County Assembly and now before the Senate?” asked Oluoch seeking to find a connection between the impeachment motion and the actions of the county assembly executives.
The witnesses however quickly absolved themselves from blame saying the affidavits were signed at that period since the County Assembly was probing the conduct of the Deputy Governor who was accused of undermining the Governor and the affidavits were to be used for disciplinary purposes.
Kiala had made startling accusations in public accusing the County government of massive corruption.
Then there were contradictions over who swore the affidavits and where. Some witnesses from the previous day had indicated that they had signed their affidavits in the office of the Governor of Machakos. However, the two who appeared Tuesday said they signed theirs at the Cabinet office.
Although the County Assembly intended to present 25 witnesses, only nine appeared before the committee due to time constraints. They were however relying on the evidence submitted by all the witnesses.
The committee will now retreat to prepare a report which will be tabled before the senate on Friday, in the first ever impeachment proceedings against a Deputy Governor.