The High Court has granted Kitui county assembly authority to continue with its impeachment motion against Governor Charity Ngilu.
In his ruling yesterday, Justice Weldon Korir said Ngilu’s application seeking to stop the assembly from tabling and debating the impeachment motion against her, lacked merit and did not meet the required threshold to grant her conservatory orders.
Respondents had opposed the application, through a replying affidavit by speaker George Ndotto and a further affidavit sworn by Athi MCA Peter Kilonzo.
Ngilu had argued the constitutional requirement of public participation was not met because of the outbreak of coronavirus. But in his ruling, Justice Korir said nobody knows when the pandemic will be contained and new ways must be designed to achieve constitutional requirements in such matters.
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Said Korir: "Legislative business cannot stall because of a disease that is at the moment beyond human control. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the respondents to ensure the impeachment process meets the constitutional threshold both procedurally and substantively."
He said failure by the respondents to discharge this duty and failure by the Senate to correct the anomaly by rejecting the impeachment will render it an exercise in futility. Any legal challenge will lead to its quashing by the court for failure to adhere to the constitution, he said.
"Impeachment of a governor is akin to an election petition. It would, therefore, be advised that any person desirous of filing a court case in respect to impeachment should approach a High Court within the county.
Korir said it was important for residents to have access to the court where such proceedings are taking place.