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Senators to start Wajir Governor Abdi Mohamud’s impeachment trial next week

POLITICS
By Brian Otieno | May 7th 2021
Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud. [Courtesy]

Embattled Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud has been served with the charges brought against him by the Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).

The special committee probing the county boss' impeachment will convene from Wednesday next week to consider the matter and retreat to write its report over the weekend.

According to the committee chairman and Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni, they will begin the sitting on May 12 for two days before retreating to write the report from Saturday and Sunday.

“We met yesterday (Thursday) and drew our schedule of activities around the trial of the governor. Today, we served the governors with the charges,” said Senator Omogeni.

The senior Counsel (SC) explained, “As per the Standing Orders, we also served the Speaker of the assembly in case they want to bring further evidence, they can do so by seeking leave from us.”

The senator, who also chairs the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) affirmed that his committee has officially sought the governor’s response to the two counts on gross violation of the constitution and subsidiary legislation and Abuse of office/gross misconduct.

The county assembly cited the actions of the county boss to be in breach of Articles 235 of the Constitution, the County Government Act, and the Public Service Act by allegedly constantly reshuffling chief officers at the convenience of his Wife.

The MCAs also faulted the governor for flouting the Procurement and Disposals Act, 2015.

Senator Omogeni confirmed that the county assembly speaker Bishar Hussein has also been invited and is expected to file their responses with the clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye by close of business next Tuesday.

“Both the parties are supposed to file the responses and submitted supporting documents with the office of the clerk before the Wednesday sitting before they appear before the committee,” explained the senator.

He noted, “It will be a length trial. We have locked May 12 and 13 for hearing and cross-examinations. We will then retreat to consider the charges brought against the governor and his responses. We will then retreat of Friday, Saturday and Sunday to write the report.”

Senator Omogeni, who is deputized by Nakuru senator Susan Kihika, said they will then ask Speaker Ken Lusaka to call for a Special sitting on May 17th to table the report on whether the charges have been substantiated or not as per Section 33 of the County Government Act.

“We will present the findings of the committee on the floor of the House,” he said.

He affirmed, “I want to assure the public that we are not motivated by anything other than considering this matter in an impartial manner, accord the governor fair hearing and devoid of a pre-determined outcome.”

Omogeni sought to allay any fears that the committee would act contrary to expectation and deny the parties justice.

“We will act purely based on evidence accused before us. We want to allay any fear that the committee will act partially, because we are motivated to deliver justice to all the parties when considering the matter. Justice must be seen just be seen to be done, but done,” he guaranteed.

All eyes are on the committee as it gets down to work, following a split in the Senate on whether to go the committee way or the plenary route.

Twenty-eight senators voted in favor of the committee, 14 plenary, and two abstained.

 

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