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Labour relations court suspends Sonko’s Tuesday impeachment hearing

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. Photo/CFM-FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – The Employment and Labour Relations Court on Monday suspended an impending impeachment hearing of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko by the city’s County Assembly pending the determination of a suit challenging the ouster motion.

The motion sponsored Makongeni ward representative Peter Imwatok was due for debate on Tuesday.

Sonko through his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui told Justice Byram Ongayo Members of the County Assembly had failed to supply him with annexures supporting the motion for impeachment hence his inability to formally respond as directed by Speaker Beatrice Elachi.

He pointed out that Section 67 and 72 of the County Assembly Act had not been complied with by petitioner seeking to impeach the Governor.

He said the motion ought to have been approved by the County Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele and not Monicah Mughami who is said to be the Assembly Clerk.

The applicants argued only the duly recognized County Assembly Clerk could ascertain the censure motion had the support of at least a third of Assembly members to proceed to the next level.

The judge directed parties to file their responses by March 4.

Sonko was directed to file his supplementary affidavit by March 6 with the matter scheduled for mention March 9.

The embattled county chief had been given until Tuesday, March 3 to defend himself against accusations levelled against him in the impeachment motion tabled by Makongeni ward representative Peter Imwatok.

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Speaker Elachi asked the Governor to submit written replies to allegations raised in the motion in a correspondence dated on February 26.

“Consequently, I direct the Office of the Clerk to serve the Governor with the Notice of Motion,” she outlined in the letter.

The grounds for impeachment outlined in the motion include gross violation of the Constitution and Public Finance Act 2012, inability to control and manage public debt and clear pending expenses, exhibiting incompetence and inability to offer leadership, and willingly failing to name a Deputy Governor with an ulterior motive of holding the county at ransom.

The impending debate on the impeachment came at a time the Governor signed to surrender Health, Transport, Public works and Planning functions to the National Government.

His press office consequently reported President Uhuru Kenyatta had asked ward representatives to cede further debate of the impeachment motion.

Sonko faces a multi-million fraud case which resulted in an order barring him for his official City Hall office.

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