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Wajir Governor Mohamed Mohamud/FILE

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Wajir County Secretary Defends Governor Mohamud in impeachment trial

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13- Wajir County Acting Secretary Abdullahi Hassan Maalim on Thursday defended Governor Mohamed Mohamud against allegations of abuse of office and others that led to his impeachment, saying they are far-fetched.

Governor Mohamud was impeached on April 27 in a vote supported by 37 MCAs against 10. His impeachment hearings kicked off in the Senate Wednesday when he defended himself, terming the move a witch-hunt.

Grounds cited by the MCAs included gross violation of the Constitution, abuse of office, poor service delivery and gross misconduct.

Maalim told the 11-member Senate Committee probing the impeachment of Governor Mohamud, that the County Chief has been doing everything to improve county service delivery.

He refuted claims that the Governor had reshuffled his finance CECs several times to run away from accountability as alleged by the MCAs.

“There are no restrictions on the number of reassignments the governor can do and therefore, I see no problem in that. As the head of Public Service, we give advice and if he feels in his own wisdom that the reshuffles will improve service delivery as per Article 175 (B) of the Constitution of Kenya, the governor has the mandate to expressly do so,” Maalim said.

Maalim pointed out that the County First Lady Kheira Omar had not taken over the County affairs, and only meets with MCAs during social events that require her attendance contrary to allegations by the MCAs who claimed she runs the county.

“I am not aware of the first lady being a member of the Executive Committee and I am not aware of any meeting that she has chaired. From 2018 to date, there is nowhere we met with First Lady to discuss substantive matters of the County,” Maalim added.

On Wednesday, Governor Mohamud denied all allegations leveled against him by the MCAs saying his impeachment was politically instigated.

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 “It is my humble plea that the committee will have time to look at the uniqueness circumstances that the Somali Community finds itself in the formation of the government at the County level. I believe the allegations contained in the impeachment by Wajir Assembly are politically motivated with malice and witch-hunt,” Mohamud said.

His lawyers Paul Nyamodi and Ndegwa Njiru pleaded with the committee to protect the integrity and professionalism of the Governor saying his reputation in the public service speaks for itself and his impeachment was only meant to tarnish his name.  

“The man before you is an innocent man. He is a man who is facing a fishing expedition prosecution. We urge you to protect the man before you, to protect his integrity and uphold his dignity as prescribed in Article 29 of the Constitution,” Ndegwa pleaded.

On Thursday, the Member of the County Assembly for Habaswein Ward Hussein Abdirahaman blamed Governor Mohamed Mohamud for the misuse of COVID-19 funds disbursed to the County by the National Government. 

Abdirahaman accused Mohamud of failing to ensure that the money meant to fight the spread of the virus was utilized prudently.

“The County Government ought to have in place an approved work plan, budget and procurement plan that indicates how each of the funds were to be used for prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 but none of that was done under his leadership,” he said.

The MCA who was the third witness in the impeachment case by the County Assembly, further pointed out that according to records by the Controller of Budget and the Auditor General, Wajir County has the highest pending bills amounting to billions occasioned by misuse of funds by the executive

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