Court declines to bar Senate from handling Iria ouster

October 23, 2015 3:32 pm
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The Murang'a County Assembly, by majority, wants Iria removed from office on the grounds that he's entered the county into unsustainable debt through excessive expenditure.
The Murang’a County Assembly, by majority, wants Iria removed from office on the grounds that he’s entered the county into unsustainable debt through excessive expenditure.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – The Senate is now free to consider the Murang’a County Assembly notice of resolution to impeach Governor Mwangi wa Iria after the High Court declined to stop the process.

Justice Joseph Onguto said he was not convinced Iria would suffer prejudice when the Senate carries out its obligations as per the County Governments Act and deliberates the resolution.

“The Senate has not indicated that they will not give him a hearing. The Governor still has a chance to defend himself before the House,” he said.

However, the judge certified the case as urgent and directed Iria, through lawyer Ng’ang’a Mbugua, to serve his suit papers upon the Speakers of the Senate and the Murang’a County Assembly.

When seeking interim orders, Iria argued that the resolution for his impeachment was unconstitutional as he was not accorded the opportunity to defend himself.

“By denying the Governor an opportunity to be heard, the County Assembly violated its own Standing Order No.67 in which he is entitled to appear before the relevant committee and be legally represented,” the judge heard.

The Murang’a County Assembly, by majority, wants Iria removed from office on the grounds that he’s entered the county into unsustainable debt through excessive expenditure.

Thirty-four out of 49 Murang’a County Assembly members on Wednesday voted in favour of the impeachment motion.

The motion was initiated by nominated MCA Mary Waithera.

The County Governments Act gives the County Assembly Speaker two days to forward a notice of resolution to the Senate Speaker.

The Senate Speaker then has seven days to convene a Senate sitting to hear the charges against the Governor.

The Senate may then, by resolution, appoint a committee composed of 11 of its members to investigate the charges within 10 days.

Should it substantiate the charges, the Governor will be given a hearing before a vote is taken on his impeachment.

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