By Betty Njeru |
January 28th 2020 at 03:35:00 GMT +0300
Embattled Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has asked the Senate to be fair in its judgement over his impeachment.
Waititu said that he is innocent until proven guilty. While giving his opening statement at Senate special sitting today, the governor told senators, “If you pin (sic) me because of that case, you will not have done justice to me.”
He was referring to his impeachment by the Kiambu County Assembly which voted for his removal from office, accusing him of engaging in corrupt dealings, abuse of office and gross misconduct.
Waititu argued that he was wrongfully impeached and told Senate that only 57 members of the county assembly voted to have him removed from office, as opposed to the required two thirds by law.
“There must be guidelines. However bad I might look politically speaking, I deserve justice like everybody else. I deserve fair judgement,” he pleaded.
Waititu went on to say that he should not be punished for the crimes of his relatives.
“I have so many relatives who deal with many things. But, they should be held accountable for what they do and I, be held accountable as the governor,” he said.
Last year, Waititu, his wife Susan Wangari Ndung’u and their daughter, Monica Njeri were charged with the illegal procurement of Sh588 million tender.
The governor said he should not be judged based on his political reputation, blaming Kiambu County for painting him in bad light.
“Don’t judge me because of Kiambu politics. Kiambu politics is full of propaganda. I am a victim,” he added.
Lawyers for Kiambu County Assembly however argued that the manner in which governor Waititu conducted affairs of the county warranted his removal.
“The evidence that you will hear in the course of today will demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that Governor Waititu has failed on the account of accountability, political governance and has done so in a manner that warrants his removal.”
The senate is expected to make a ruling tomorrow (Wednesday) on whether to uphold the impeachment.
A special sitting was prompted after the Senate shot down a proposal to form an 11-member committee to investigate the charges against him last week.
Waititu is the fourth governor to be impeached by MCAS after Embu Governor Martin Wambora, Kericho’s Paul Chepkwony and Taita Taveta's Granton Samboja.
On December 19, 2019, Governor Waititu was ousted after 63 Members of the County Assembly voted in favour of his removal.
Twenty-eighty failed to turn up for the session and one voted against the impeachment motion.
The motion was tabled by Ndenderu MCA Solomon Kinuthia who accused the governor of engaging in corruption, abuse of office and gross misconduct.
The governor was accused of violating public procurement rules and conflict of interest after it emerged that tenders in the county were awarded to companies owned by relatives.
He was also accused of breaching the county procedures by hiring casual workers without the involvement of the County Service Board.?