NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 4 – A Court in Murang’a county has barred the Senate from demanding Governor Mwangi Wa Iria physically appearing before its watchdog committee to be grilled over audit queries despite an agreement on virtual sessions.
Justice Njuguna issued the conservatory order on Friday in the application where the Speaker of the Senate Ken Lusaka and the Senate were listed as the first and second respondents with the Inspector General of the National Police Service Hillary Mutyambai listed as an interested party.
“Pending interparties hearing and determination of this application a conservatory order is hereby issued staying the decision of the second respondent contained in the letter of the Clerk of the Senate dated September 2,” Justice Njuguna ruled.
Consequently, the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee was ordered to suspend its sittings with the second term Governo,r who was recently fined Sh500,000 for ignoring the committee’s invite on numerous occasions, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
Mutyambai who was also petitioned by the committee to arrest Governor Wa Iria and present him before it on September 10 was stopped from effecting the arrest.
Justice Njuguna scheduled the case for mention on September 9 where her colleague Justice Abigail Mshila is expected to rule on the application.
The order came barely hours after the watchdog committee Chairperson Senator Samson Ongeri scolded Wa Iria for showing disrespect to the committee and equated him to a fugitive of justice.
“Governors need to be reminded that accountability before the committee is not collective through the Council of Governors but is individual responsibility of each governor,” Ongeri said a day after the Council of Governors Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya issued a statement saying the committee was harassing governors, demanding that they appear physically despite an agreement for virtual sessions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.