High Court blocks Senate from summoning governors

September 18, 2014 4:47 pm
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Although a court order barring the governors of Kisumu, Bomet and Kiambu from appearing had already been released, the committee had been adamant that it had not been served with the notice/FILE
Although a court order barring the governors of Kisumu, Bomet and Kiambu from appearing had already been released, the committee had been adamant that it had not been served with the notice/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 18 – The High Court on Thursday issued an order barring the Senate from summoning Governors to appear before it and respond to audit queries over how funds allocated to counties were spent.

The order was served by Wajir County executives representing their governor who was set to appear before the Accounts and Investments Committee.

Although a court order barring the governors of Kisumu, Bomet and Kiambu from appearing had already been released, the committee had been adamant that it had not been served with the notice.

The court order dated September 18 also enjoined Embu Governor Martin Wambora and Kisii Governor James Ongwae in the case which will be heard on October 16. The committee dismissed the order saying they were conducting their oversight role and would not be shaken by the court which they stated was overstepping its mandate.

“In this particular case the county government of Wajir has actually gone to court and said it does not want to be over sighted, the court has protected you, you are so protected; fortunately for us, Senate is re-convening on Tuesday so we will respect the ruling of the court, Tuesday we shall report back to the House—you will see the consequences,” Senator Boni Khalwale who chairs the committee said.

The petitioners in the case were the Council of Governors, the Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba, Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdulahi Mohammed and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

This comes amid complaints by Speakers of both Houses over the Courts’ infringement of its mandate by issuing injunctions curtailing their operations.

Meanwhile the Senate Sessional Public Accounts and Investments committee has declared that it does not recognize Embu Governor Martin Wambora as the Governor after he was impeached by the Senate.

The Accounts Committee chairman Boni Khalwale said this as he sent away Embu County Government officers led by county secretary Wilson Gitonga and Finance and Economic Planning executive member John Njagi who had been sent by Wambora to respond to audit queries over the county’s financial management.

“This committee observes that the delegation from Embu county government has not been properly led to this meeting. This delegation should have been led by the CEO of the county government of Embu in line with Article 179(4) and (5) of the Constitution,” stated Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, who chairs the committee.

“That position has not been vacated and this committee cannot reverse it. We know Wambora is not the Governor of Embu and cannot purport to attend this sitting as the Governor or send officers here.”

The committee instead summoned the Deputy Governor Dorothy Nditi to appear before it saying that since Wambora ceased to be governor, the position should be taken over by the Deputy Governor as outlined in Article 175(5) of the Constitution.

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