The Senate select committee convened yesterday to consider particulars presented by Taita Taveta County Assembly Speaker in the impeachment motion of Governor Granton Samboja.
The committee chaired by Embu Senator Njeru Ndwiga scrutinised the documents presented on Saturday by various parties and is set to come up with a schedule to invite witnesses.
Mr Ndwiga said this week the team will hear presentations from the County Assembly, experts and county residents.
The committee had invited the governor to appear today to defend himself against the allegations raised. His counsel Nelson Havi confirmed receipt of the invite, but indicated the governor will not honour it.
Mr Havi said the court had made a preliminary findings that the governor was not accorded fair hearing before the impeachment by Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).
“Senate is applying an ostrich mentality in this process. In the impeachment of Embu Governor Martin Wambora, the court found that despite issuing an order, Senate still went ahead and impeach the governor. It would be an annulity,” said Havi.
Section of 33 (b) of the County Governments Act and Standing Order Number 75 provides for the Senate to probe and debate proposed impeachment of a governor by county assembly.
But senators are relying on Standing order 98(5) which gives the Speaker the discretion to determine if the matter can go on or not.
In a heated debate last Thursday, Deputy Speaker Prof Kithure Kindiki, while conveying the communication from the Speaker, said the position of the Senate and the Parliament cannot be injuncted by any court of law.
“No court of any nature nor tribunal of any description can injunct a House of Parliament while discharging parliamentary duties. Senators, this is not the case for only Kenya, but the case in the whole world, especially under the Commonwealth legal system under which our legal system is based,” said Prof Kindiki.
Senate Minority Leader James Orengo (Siaya) said the removal of a president or a governor, either with regard to incapacity or by way of impeachment, are time-bound and must be done within 21 days.
According to Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula, even if the courts issued a restraining order, it will be invalid against Parliament.
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