NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 13 – Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua has denied charges of abuse of office, gross violation of the Constitution in procurement and corruption as impeachment proceedings against him started before the Senate.
Gachagua, who is facing a full House sitting after Senators rejected a motion to have a select team handle his impeachment, said the charges were actuated by malice which was fuelled his political rivals led by former Mathira MP Ephraim Maina and MPs Kabando wa Kabando (Mukurweini) and Kanini Kega (Kieni).
“I am here by choice, I know I will get justice and we will demonstrate in each of these charges that there is no basis for my removal from office because the threshold of the constitutional requirement has not been achieved. I think the charges as framed are really…I don’t want to say a joke; I think once you go into them, you will see what they are really worth,” Governor Gachagua said in his opening remarks to the Senate.
He termed his removal defective and devoid of any constitutional or legal merits, arguing that the decision was politically instigated.
“The meetings to plot for my removal were held at the home and under the chairmanship of Ephraim Mwangi Maina, a senatorial candidate who lost in the last General Election. We have the sworn affidavit of John Njuguna Mbugua, MCA of Mugunda Ward,” he said as he went on to give details of when the meeting took place.
Gachagua claims the first meeting was held on April 22, 2016 at Green Hills Hotel with a specific agenda to plan on how he can be left out of the Jubilee merger and to discredit his performance by any means possible.
The second meeting was held on April 28, 2016, at Engineer Maina’s rural home to review the agenda of the first meeting and to plan to boycott and disrupt the Governor’s State of the County address.
“The third meeting was on May 14, 2016 at Eng. Maina’s rural home with same agenda as the first two and plus to plan on how to paralyze the operations of the County government by reject the proposed 2016/17 budget estimates,” he said.
The fourth meeting, he said was held on July, 2016 at Eng. Maina’s rural home to plan on how to impeach him and how to paint him as unsuitable to hold the mantle of the Office of Governor.
The embattled Governor claimed he had come to the Senate for justice after the Nyeri MCAs impeached him after he refused to give them Sh200,000 each to drop their push.
Gachagua accused County Assembly Speaker Mwangi Mugo of denying his legal team the right to defend him during the impeachment motion. He said that unlike the Assembly, the Senate respects the rule of law.
“On the August 19, also when the 32 MCAs spent the night in the precincts of the County Assembly, they were frantically calling me, telling me that I was letting matters get out of hand and I risked harassment and possible impeachment by the Senate, while they could easily organise for me to pay each a sum of 200,000 to get my peace, I told them I was not interested,” he said.