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Senate Speaker Lusaka calls special sitting to hear Wajir Governor impeachment motion, discuss BBI

POLITICS
By Jacob Ngetich | May 1st 2021
Senate chambers during the impeachment debate of former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko on December 16, 2020.[Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has gazetted a Special sitting next week for the House to deliberate the impeachment motion against Wajir Governor Mohammed Abdi.

Lusaka convened the House to hear the charges brought against the county boss and make a decision on whether to consider the matter through plenary or by an 11-member select committee.

Abdi was on Tuesday evening impeached by 37 MCAs who voted in support of his impeachment while 10 voted to oppose it.

The governor however got a reprieve when he moved to the High Court to block his impeachment. Yesterday, Lusaka said he had not received any communication on the court order and would therefore allow Senators to decide the governor's fate.

"I have received the correspondence for the impeachment from the County Assembly speaker. I have not been served any court order and therefore the House will proceed with the matter within the tight stipulated period. Within seven days of receipt, the House should convene to deliberate on the impeachment motion," said Lusaka.

He said: "The senators will decide if they will have a committee to look into the matter or the whole plenary. We are an independent institution and will seek to substantiate the charges or dismiss the same," said Lusaka.

The MCAs have leveled against Abdi gross violation of the Constitution, abuse of office and poor service delivery.

The governor has sensationally claimed he was being fought by the Deputy President and his allies because of his support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

He said some external forces were driving the agenda to have him out and accused the MCAs of failing to give dialogue a chance and claimed they were being used by politicians in Nairobi.

“The MCAs are being used by some politicians in Nairobi. Some are fighting me because of my support for the BBI. I have the support of the people of Wajir. I will do everything through my lawyers to defend my seat,” Abdi said.

Last month, Ruto met leaders from the county including Deputy Governor Ahmed Mukhtar, nominated MP Nasri Sahal, County Speaker Ahmed Ibrahim Yakub, and several MCAs from Wajir at his official residence in Karen.

Sahal is interested in the Wajir governor’s seat and held separate private meetings with Deputy President William Ruto, a month ago.

The series of meetings were held months before the impeachment motion against the governor. 

Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said some politicians from Wajir had been asked to help impeach the governor who is allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The source claimed that some senators allied to the Deputy President have formed pressure groups to remove the governor in the same zeal used in similar petitions to ousts four governors who supported the reform efforts by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga. 

They all survived the impeachment motions at the Senate on technicalities and lack of sufficient evidence. 

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen on Thursday tweeted that the exit of the 3rd governor was loading. “The 3rd Governor Loading ....” Murkomen Tweeted.

Political strategist Hassan Guled yesterday argued that Abdi is President Uhuru’s foot soldier who helped in steering the BBI in the larger Northern Kenya region. “Some people opposed to the constitutional change are working hard to drag the process by going for supporters of BBI in ASAL counties,” Hassan said. 

He added: "This is a charade aimed to influence the 2022 succession politics.”

 Mohammed joins a list of governors who have been impeached since 2013. They included governors Martin Wambora (Embu), late Nderitu Gachagua (Nyeri), Ann Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Mwangi wa Iria (Muranga), Paul Chepkwony (Kericho), Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), former governors Mike Sonko and Ferdinard Waititu.

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