, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – The Senate has asked the High Court to dismiss a petition by Governor Mwangi wa Iria seeking to bar it from discussing his impeachment following a motion by the Murang’a County Assembly.
The Senate urged the court to dismiss the lawsuit and restrain itself from interfering with the legislative House’s constitutional mandate arguing that it will give the governor a fair hearing and that Iria would then be at liberty to move to court if he was unhappy with the final decision.
High Court judge Joseph Onguto was expected to determine the matter Thursday but pushed the ruling to Tuesday after he heard submissions from both the Senate and the County Assembly.
“The petitioner should move to court if he will be aggrieved by the Senates decision,” justice Onguto heard.
The Senate argued that it had already formed the special committee to hear and review the impeachment report by the Murang’a County Assembly and had promised to accord the governor fair hearing.
“The committee has adopted rules of procedure to be used during the investigation and served invitations to the governor requiring him to appear in person,” stated an excerpt of the response.
The County Assembly on its part insisted the ‘ball’ was no longer in its court as they had submitted all the impeachment documents to the Senate in accordance with the law and was now waiting it to deal with the matter.
Defending himself against the allegations of abuse of office and mismanagement of county funds, Iria through his lawyer Paul Muite urged the court to grant him stay orders since he was wrongly accused.
Governor Iria has been accused of among other things, gross violation of the current constitution, the county government act 2012, PFM Act 2012 and Public procurement and Disposal Act 2005 that there was mismanagement of county resources by incurring unsustainable debts of up to Sh2.5billion.
On Wednesday the Senate resolved to form an 11-member committee chaired by David Musila (Kitui) to hear the Iria case and report to the Senate within 10 days their findings of whether the reasons given by County Assembly were justified.