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Senate committee promises to conduct Martin Wambora’s case in a just manner

By ROSELYNE OBALA and WILFRED AYAGA

NAIROBI, KENYA: Senators have assured besieged Embu Governor Martin Wambora that the committee probing charges leveled against him will accord him fair trial.

Majority leader Kithure Kindiki, Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) and Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu) explained that the select committee’s mandate is to investigate the charges by giving the accused an opportunity to be heard, after which a report is tabled in the House for debate and voting.

The three maintained that the governor should have confidence in the team, as its recommendations will still be tabled before the House to either approve or reject.

Prof Kindiki, told The Standard on phone that the charges brought against the governor are fresh ones. “The exercise is going to be credible, based on solid grounds and conducted in a factual manner. The senators might also vote otherwise,” he said.

He, however, emphasised that the Senate will not entertain charges based on flimsy grounds, noting that county bosses who squander public resources will not be spared.

Meanwhile, a new twist to the case has emerged. Committee members have expressed reservations over the authenticity of minutes of meetings that had been called by the Embu County Assembly to discuss the governor.  During the committee hearings on Sunday, it emerged that the minutes had been signed by the county clerk instead of the chairman, raising doubts on their admissibility as evidence.

Members questioned this anomaly, with lawyers representing the county assembly, Charles Njenga and George Nganga at one point asking for more time to consult with their clients.

The lawyers were also questioned on why some of the minutes were signed on the same day that the meetings took place, contrary to practice where committee minutes are confirmed and signed at the subsequent meeting. It also emerged that the meetings had taken place in quick succession, prompting members to question if the motion had been driven by malice.

Amid the intense interrogation, Embu County Assembly, however, pressed on with its efforts to have the committee present a favourable report that would see Wambora sacked. “The meetings had to take place on successive days due to the urgency of the matter,” said Njenga.

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