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Fresh twist as group seeks Nyeri DG Karugu ouster

CENTRAL
By Nderitu Gichure | November 18th 2021

Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu and Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga shake hands moments after they jointly addressed the media. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

A new petition seeking the removal of Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu has been tabled at the county assembly. Petitioners are accusing her of abuse of office and abdication of duties.

Yesterday, Assembly Speaker John Kaguchia directed the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee to look at the grounds raised in the fresh petition by the 74 petitioners.

In the petition, Karugu is accused of absconding duty by failing to report to work for more than two years and being absent during county executive committee meetings despite being a member.

“Therefore, she cannot convince the people of Nyeri that she is part of the executive decisions made in such meetings for the purposes of guiding the county in its development agenda,” reads the petition.

The petitioners led by James Muringo accuse Karugu of abusing her office by assigning herself an unaccredited driver to drive an official county government vehicle. They also claim she has been embarrassing Governor Mutahi Kahiga by allegedly walking out of meetings attended by the county chief. 

“She has also been using the county vehicle to run personal errands,” say the petitioners.

Last week, the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi dismissed an undated public petition for the removal of Karugu which was before the House, terming it premature.

“The motion for the impeachment of the DG is undated and has not proceeded for debate or adjudication. The petition for the removal of the applicant is of no tangible value at the moment,” Justice Nzioki Makau said.

He said the court could not consider an undated public petition which was yet to be debated. He declared it unripe for determination.

“The issue of the DG’s removal is unripe for determination and to go ahead and hear the same is being speculated on which of the DG rights have been violated,” he said.

He said that until the impeachment happens in the Nyeri County Assembly, the matter stood premature for the time being.

“But it does not mean when the public petition gets to a point of ripeness the court’s hand will be tied to consider such violations,” Makau added.

He said if the petition ripens during the dependency of the case, then the court will be ready to hear the alleged violations.

In her application filed before the court on October 7, Karugu had enjoined the Speaker, the Clerk and County government of Nyeri as the third, fourth, fifth and sixth respondents, respectively.

She sought orders preventing the respondents from tabling and deliberating her impeachment before the county assembly, as well as making any decision or putting to a vote a Motion on the petition.

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