NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 12 – It’s back to the drawing board for embattled Embu Governor Martin Wambora after the High Court upheld the decision of the Senate and Embu County Assembly to impeach him.
Judges Richard Mwongo, Weldon Korir and George Odunga while issuing their ruling said due process was followed by the County Assembly in removing him from office and thus none of Wambora’s rights were infringed.
“We have no reason to usurp the decision of the Senate whether we agree with the decision or not. Accordingly, the resolution of the County Assembly of Embu dated April 29, 2014 and the resolution of the Senate upholding the impeachment charge of the governor shall stand,” ruled the judges.
They dismissed a petition by Wambora and 35 Embu residents challenging the Senate’s verdict saying the proceedings and decision of the Senate were not subjudice as had been argued by the petitioners.
The petitioners had also claimed that they were not involved as the decision to impeach Wambora however the judges dismissed this plea.
“The removal process of the governor requires that an opportunity be afforded to the public to participate therein which opportunity was afforded in the instant case,” said the Judges.
The Judges also found that the petition was incompetent.
Wambora and the petitioners had argued that the Senate made the decision based on accusations brought forward by the County Assembly which to them meant the decision was bound to go the assembly’s way.
They took issue with fact that Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale moved the motion on the adoption of the report proposing Wambora’s impeachment and also sat in the impeachment proceedings and therefore his decision was bound to be biased.
It is not however the end of the road for Wambora as he is entitled to seek legal redress in court over Constitutional issues. To make this possible, the Court stayed its decision for 14 days to allow Wambora time to appeal the ruling.
On 29th April last year, the County assembly members voted 23 against eight (8) in favour of his impeachment on grounds that he had flouted the County Government Act by appointing public servants without the assembly’s approval.
MCAs was also accused contravening procurement rules in the purchase of sub-standard maize seeds worth Sh35 million which never germinated, acquisition of vehicles and authorization to renovate Embu Stadium at a cost of Sh50 million, up from Sh8 million.