Senators Issue New Directive in Governor's Impeachment Probe
Embattled Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja's woes continued to pile up after senators defied a gag order and proceeded to hear the case against him.
On Thursday, October 17, the High Court in Nairobi had issued a directive barring the lawmakers from debating Samboja's ouster.
In the special hearing, chaired by Embu Senator Njeru Ndwiga on Tuesday, October 22, the committee directed senators who were not members of the ad-hock session not to speak of the impeachment case on the floor of the house or anywhere else.
And in a new twist, lawyer Nelson Havi who represented Governor Samboja, showed up for the hearing even after vowing that the governor would not participate.
In Samboja's defence, Havi argued that his client was not presented with a copy of the charges Taita Taveta County Assembly levelled against him, as required by law.
The charges against Samomboja that were read out by the clerk included failure to establish devolved structures in the county and misrepresentation of facts to members of the public which incited them against the assembly.
The MCAs argued that Samboja pushed his constituents into signing the petition that directed President Kenyatta to dissolve Taita Taveta County Assembly without following set constititional procedures such as public participation and civic education,
However, the committee deliberated on the preliminary objection given by Havi and decided that the proceedings would go on.
"Taking into account the mandate of the special committee as set out in Section 33 of the County Government Act of 2012 and Standing Order 75 of the Senate Standing Orders and further taking into account the directive by the deputy speaker of the Senate, the special committee dismisses the preliminary objection and resolves to proceed with the hearing as planned," Senator Ndwiga stated.
On whether the Senate had a right to continue with the special proceedings even though the matter was being considered by a judge, the chair directed that the county assembly's advocates quoted Standing Orders 98 - 5 of the Senate, which give the speaker discretion to determine whether or not to proceed with a sub judicial matter.
Ndwiga further stated that the committee would give reasons for its decision to suspend the preliminary objection to the hearing that had been raised by Samboja's lawyer.
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