Senators reject Governors’ immunity proposal

July 10, 2018 5:19 pm
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Immunity for Governors? NEVER. The grant of bail must be guaranteed to all suspects but NO sacred cows,” Elgeyo Marakwet Senator stated/COSMUS MWONGELA

, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 10 – A proposal by Governors to be granted immunity from civil and criminal legal proceedings has continued to elicit reactions with Senators stating that they will oppose it if presented before the Upper House.

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen (Elegyo-Marakwet) through a post on his Twitter handle said the immunity for Governors must never be entertained.

“I totally agree with Council of Governors that the fight against corruption must be done within the law. But devolution is under attack by corruption not enforcement. Immunity for Governors? NEVER. The grant of bail must be guaranteed to all suspects but NO sacred cows,” he stated.

Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) Vice-Chairman Mithika Linturi termed the proposal for immunity while in office as misplaced and unconstitutional.

“The first term of devolution reports clearly shows a lot of money was misappropriated. When they tell us they have pending bills of Sh99b, the more reason we should never give Governors immunity from prosecution. We cannot give them immunity to create more mess,” said the Meru Senator.

National Assembly Public Accounts Committee Chairman Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) had earlier told a news conference that the demand that Governors need to enjoy immunity as “crazy.”

“If they are clamouring for such to seal corruption, they’ve lost it. The CoG is an institution created to help advance the cause of devolution and not for selfish interest of immunity of governors,” he stated.

Senate Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Jnr equally dismissed the call as “wishful and fallacious.”

He joined Kenyans and fellow legislators in demanding they must be accountable.

“It is wishful and fallacious for Governors to seek for immunity in civil and criminal proceedings like the Head of State. We can only have one President at a time. Wasome Katiba (Let them read the Constitution),” the Makueni Senator said.

Council of Governors (CoG) Chairman Josphat Nanok on Monday called on the Director of Public Prosecutions to stop ordering the arrest of Governors and demanded immunity from prosecution following the arrest and charging of their Busia counterpart, Sospeter Ojaamong.

“The best practice in jurisdictions that are devolved is that the heads of both levels of government have immunity on civil and criminal proceedings while they are in office,” Nanok said during a press conference at the CoG headquarters in Nairobi.

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