High Court issues order barring Senate from summoning governors, county executives


NAIROBI, KENYA: Governors have received a temporary reprieve by the High Court over their summons to appear before Senate on financial management matters.

The Council of Governors through its legal counsel Peter Wanyama filed a petition challenging the summons by the Senate Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Billow Kerrow.

High Court Judge Mumbi Ngungi granted the orders stopping the Senate from summoning the governors and their respective County Executives on Finance from appearing before it pending the determination of the petition.

Ngungi directed the case to heard and determined by a three judge bench.

The Judge suspended the summons until the case is determined.

Some of the governors summoned include Kinuthia Mbugua (Nakuru), Samuel Ole Tunai (Narok), Jack Ranguma (Kisumu), Julius Malombe (Kitui), Husein Dado (Tana River), Ken Lusaka (Bungoma), William Kabogo (Kiambu) Ahmed Abdullahi Mohammed and Council of governors’ chair Isaac Ruto.

Wanyama welcomed the court’s ruling, noting that the governors will abide by the law.

The Court’s ruling comes a day after governors resolved to defer the summons as the wait for the ruling, Supreme Court’s advisory and Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution guidance and directive on the matter.

Senator Kerrow had indicated today being the final day to honour the summons; the County Chiefs had to appear before the committee to shed light on issues touching on their Counties by the Controller of Budgets Agnes Odhiambo.

Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale welcomed the court’s ruling, starting that it was in order as it was matter of concern if the governors decided to snub the summons.

“There was going to be consequences in defying the summons. The Senate could have contemplated the next action to take on the matter,” he said.

Khalwale said with the court injunction, they will suspend the summons until the petition is heard and determined by the High Court.

“We will resume our oversight role of holding with the governors accountable as the County Chief Executives after the ruling. It seems the governors doubt the Senate in reference to Article 125 of the constitution,” he said.

He added, “We are convinced that court will also concur with the Senate that the mandate of oversight is constitutional.”

Governors have argued in reference to article 125 and article 226 (2) that the Senate is overstepping its mandate and exercising the powers of the County Assemblies.

Wanyama said the County Executives on Finance are equally supposed to appear before the County Assemblies alongside their Accounting officers and Chief Officers to answer directly on financial management matters.