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Governor Waititu’s bid for adjournment of Sh588mn graft case rejected by court

Ferdinand Waititu, the Kiambu Governor in court during a past appearance. Photo/CFM-FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – A Magistrate court at Nairobi’s Milimani Court Monday declined to grant an application for adjournment of a Sh588 million graft case facing Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

Waititu had moved to court seeking the adjournment to allow him to attend a Senate impeachment trial set for Tuesday, January 21.

Trial magistrate Thomas Nzioki ruled Monday the embattled governor failed to produce in court evidence that the Senate had summoned him to appear before the House.

“The prayers sought by the applicant fails as he has substantially proved the matter,” he declared.

The court however suspended the matter to February 6 when hearing will commence.

The adjournment period will await the outcome of an application by 12 Kiambu Members of County Assembly (MCAs) who wanted to be enjoined in the criminal proceedings as interested parties.

While allowing the matter to be put off, the court held it would be prejudicial to continue with the case while the original charge sheet and questionnaire is before the High Court.

The MCAs moved to the High Court after the Magistrate Court declined to allow them to participate in the proceedings on grounds their participation will delay the trial.

The MCAS wanted to be part of the proceedings, “to watch how the embezzlement case is conducted on behalf of the people of Kiambu.”

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The court was of the view that the “interests of Kiambu people” will be taken care of by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions which is prosecuting the case.

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has recalled senators from their recess for a Special Sitting discuss Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s impeachment through a special gazette notice published on Friday, January 10.

Lusaka said the decision to convene a Special Sitting was arrived on the request of the Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen who mobilized support of the requisite number of Senators for the sitting.

The gazettement of the sitting came against the backdrop of a missed 7-day deadline set out under County Governments Act within which the Senate is expected to convene and discuss an impeachment motion upon receipt of a resolution by a County Assembly from its respective Speaker.

Lusaka indicted he received the resolution dated December 20 on December 23.

The Kiambu County Assembly impeached Waititu on December 19 after 63 ward representatives supported the impeachment motion anchored on abuse of office and violation of the Public Finance Management Act.

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