NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 16 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko faces the Senate Wednesday at the start of an impeachment trial against him.
The impeachment will be proceeding even as the Employment and Labour Relations Court was set to rule on the legality of the impeachment.
Justice Mathew Nderi was set to issue the ruling following an application by Sonko, in which he argued that the ouster motion by County Assembly members was passed illegally.
Through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, Sonko argues that there was an existing order barring the Nairobi County Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment motion.
The County Assembly that voted to impeach Sonko two weeks ago will be presenting its evidence before a full Senate on why 88 MCAs out of 122 voted to impeach him before Sonko lays out his defence Thursday.
“Pursuant to the Senate Standing Orders, on the request of the Senate Majority Leader with the support of the requisite number of Senators, I have appointed Wednesday 16 December, 2020 and 17 December 2020 as days for the special sitting of the Senate to investigate the proposed removal from office by impeachment of Nairobi Governor. The sittings will begin at 9.00am,” said Speaker Kenneth Lusaka said in gazetting the days.
On Tuesday, the county assembly took 104 files to the Senate which its legal team will rely in the impeachment proceedings.
Sonko who has since dismissed the allegations leveled against him including violating the Constitution, gross misconduct and abuse of office is expected to face the Senate on Thursday in a sitting where his fate will be determined by the political handshake matrix that has so far divided the Senators.
If majority of Senators vote to uphold any impeachment charge, the governor shall cease to hold office.
On the other hand, if a vote in the Senate fails to result in the removal of Governor Sonko, Speaker Lusaka shall notify the Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly accordingly and the motion by the assembly for the removal of the Governor on the same charges may only be re-introduced to the Senate after the expiry of three months.
Sonko will be the third Governor to have his impeachment determined by all Senators after former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and Embu Senator Martin Wambora. Waititu was sent home and his deputy sworn in to take over.
Sonko’s troubles stem from his refusal to sign the County’s Appropriation Bill that allocated the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Sh37.2 billion in what has threatened to paralyze its operations.
Sonko, who surrendered some of his key functions to the national government, has been at loggerheads with the NMS Director General Major Mohammed Badi on the management of the city even after the governor surrendered four key functions including Health.