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I wasn't given chance to defend myself, says Nyeri Governor Gachagua

By Nderitu Gichure and Peter Mburu | September 4th 2016
Governor Nderitu Gachagua addresses the media at his Nyeri home a day after he was impeached by the county assembly. [PHOTO: KIBATA KIHU/STANDARD]

Embattled Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua has claimed that he was not accorded a fair hearing after his legal defence was turned away by the MCAs.

Gachagua said his lawyers were denied the opportunity to present his defence and accused County Assembly Speaker Mwangi Mugo of being partisan.

“Even in a court of law, you cannot condemn a man unheard or without hearing his side of the story or opportunity to respond to the allegations,” he said.

Gachagua said it was against laws and natural principles of justice to be denied the right to respond to the grounds cited for his impeachment despite his efforts to look for the best constitutional lawyers to argue his case. “MCAs must come up with reasons to back signatures and not purport to impeach me on flimsy grounds,” he said.

Flawed process

Addressing the press at his Nyeri town residence a day after the County Assembly voted to impeach him, Gachagua said the whole process was flawed. He said he was yet to receive a notice to impeach him from the assembly.

The county boss noted that the law is well settled by the Court of Appeal that there must be public participation in an impeachment process and not just approval through collection of signatures.

He said the County Assembly ought to have served him with the charges against him at least three days before the motion was debated.

He claimed the motion was aimed at stifling his 2017 re-election bid, blaming an aspirant who lost in 2013 Senate race for pushing for his impeachment. “I want to send a clear message to the Nairobi financier who has been behind my woes not to spoil the county in which he wants to contest for the governorship,” Gachagua said.

Meanwhile, Senate Pubic Accounts and Investments Committee chair Boni Khawlale has denied claims he was among Senators who visited Gachagua’s home hours after he was impeached.

The Kakamega Senator told the Standard on Sunday that he had seen a tweet insinuating he was among three Senators who visited the Governor at his residence on Ring Road, Nyeri town, on Friday night.

Khawlale said that on Friday, he had lunch in Nairobi with legislators Johnstone Muthama, Junet Muhammed, Mishi Mboko and Eseli Simiyu in Nairobi and then drove to his Kakamega home.

Khawlale assured Nyeri residents that since the matter would be referred to his committee, Gachagua and the people will get a fair hearing.

All the 32 MCAs present voted to send the Governor home in a session few members of the public were allowed to attend.

The County Assembly will now forward its deliberations to the Senate for Senators to decide whether or not there are sufficient grounds to remove Mr Gachagua.

Although 10 members supporting him opposed the motion at the plenary, they walked out of the chamber when the vote was called.

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