Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is appearing before the Senate for the second day to defend himself in the ongoing hearings, seeking to reverse his impeachment by Kiambu County Assembly that happened on December 19, 2019.
Nani Mungai, the counsel for Kiambu County Assembly argued that Waititu was incompetent and the county assembly was keen on proving that he had failed in his leadership as Kiambu Governor.
On Wednesday, January 2, Waititu was given a chance to convince the Senate to restore him back and the governor, while pleading with the house, seized the moment to spice his speech with humour and stern warnings.
The Senate will today vote to either uphold his impeachment or dismiss the charges filed before it. Twenty Four of the elected 47 senators are required to either pass or dismiss it to meet the threshold stipulated.
If the senators uphold any of the impeachment charges, Waititu shall cease to hold office in line with section 33 (7) of the County Government Act. By operation of Article 182 (2) of the Constitution, Waititu’s deputy, James Nyoro, will take over as Kiambu’s new governor for the remainder of the term.
Sub-section 3 (a) of this Article provides that one shall be deemed to have served a full term as governor if, at the date on which the person assumed office, more than two-and-a-half years remain before the date of the next election.
In this live blog, Kenyans.co.ke will keep you updated on the case.
21:18 pm.: Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka announced that a majority of senators had voted to remove Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu from office by means of impeachment.
21:05 pm.: The Speaker Ken Lusaka declared the start of separate voting on three different charges leveled against Waititu; Violation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Crimes under the national Law and Abuse of office/ Gross Misconduct.
19:36 pm.: Speaker Ken Lusaka asked Senators to control their emotions after Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei claimed that Waititu's impeachment was solely due to politics.
19:10 pm.: Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka allowed Senators to voice their opinions on the motion before proceeding to a vote.
18:58 pm.: Senate Minority leader James Orengo rose to address the Senate.
"It is a weighty decision because the decision we are going to make could overturn the choice of Kiambu residents in 2017," he began.
"You're going to take a stand and it's for posterity...ours is to hear the evidence that has been presented before us.
"I will not blow hot and cold, I will second the motion," he stated.
18:50 pm.: Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen spoke as he moved the impeachment motion.
Murkomen insisted that the matter hinged on whether the Kiambu County Assembly had achieved quorum when they voted to impeach Waititu.
"The stakes are high. This is about the future of counties and devolution...
"The Senate is on trial," he stated.
18:45 pm.: The Senate session resumed after a closed session that followed Waititu's defense.
4:50 pm.: Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka highlighted that he had noted Waititu's complaint against Senator Isaac Mwaura as he suspended the Senate for deliberations before voting on Waititu's impeachment.
I want to thank the speaker and senators for listening to us and being patient. I would like to bring to the attention of the speaker a post by Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura which alleges that the process has concluded.
The Facebook post read as follows.
"Senate had rejected Waititu's plea to file evidence out of time as he was requesting. He has not filed any defence and he waited for all the matters to be raised for him to want to open the case afresh. The people of Kiambu and Kenyans need justice. Waititu must face the full force of the law. No thief should go unpunished," Waititu read before making his speech.
"The people of Kiambu and Waititu need justice. This house must make a ruling that will change the narrative of leaders and Kiambu residents as they have woken up to malign other people's name without respect. I am married and no one should conclude that I am a thief. If I may remind you, you have gone through the same process of rigorous elections as I have done. The same way from since I was elected as MP to Governor.
Mr Speaker as you consider my position, please consider that I worked hard and earned my way to the top. Don't judge me because I am not in your party. You never know, tomorrow I may be with you. Please handle my case like every other Kenyan, and like the seven impeachment cases before you.
Honestly, I am surprised but just like Orengo said that the government eats its own children, you have to consider that I was not given a chance to be heard in the County of Kiambu. I sent my lawyers and they were not given any chance to speak. What is in this country? We are very important people who the people of Kenya look up to. That is a great violation.
I became a governor because of numbers, and I know I will be a Senator one day as my strongest belief is that this is the strongest house. As we wrote the constitution, no one never knew that there would be cheating at the assemblies. Just consider my case the way you'd want me to consider your case when I become senator one day.
The evidence may have been skewed to oust me from my sit. Some witnesses were to be called to the stand, but I have never seen the, It would have been great if they would have been cross-examined. Some people testifying against me were employed by my deputy Nyoro illegally. He has employed over 50 people.
Mr Speaker, I urge this house that justice is served to all governors who will ever visit this house. There was no evidence adduced before you to suggest that I was given any kickback in the tenders they claim I issued. These projects were not being done in one financial year and they were for the benefit of Kiambu people.
You should not allow liers to appear before the senate. My deputy governor has been going everywhere telling everyone he is a doctor, yet he does not have a PhD. The Senate should teach the people of Kiambu a lesson on telling the truth. Protect your legacy so that the people looking up to you can learn more.
Thank you so much and for those who will be governors, know that MCAs are a problem and they can disturb you until you bribe them. Handling MCAs is a huge task. Thank you so much and may God bless you.
2:58 pm.: Senator calls upon the County Assembly to make their closing statement for one hour ahead of deliberations and voting for or against the motion.
2:30 pm.: Waititu's lawyers argue that the evidence placed against him was not sufficient to warrant his impeachment.
"There was no witness from the county budget committee and the county assembly should also call upon on other witnesses. Some of the officers accusing the governor and advisers in his office, and are directly appointed by the governor. If there is no evidence then that concludes that there was no wrongdoing," the lawyers argued.
1:38 pm.: Senate resumes session and Waititu's defence makes their closing statement.
1:30 pm.: Dozens of demonstrators camp outside Senate calling for Waititu's impeachment. The protestors can be seen carrying placards and singing how Waitiutu had reportedly embezzled county funds and should be sent to jail.
1:00 pm.: Senate takes a break.
"Given the weighty matters that have been raised, I suspend the Senate for 30 minutes for consultations on both sides," Speaker Lusaka ordered.
12:23 p.m.: Senate speaker Ken Lusaka gives the defence team a go-ahead to argue their case.
12:19 p.m.: Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula argues that Waititu should be given time to argue his case.
"The governor and his lawyers find themselves in a difficult position. We have put them in a box where they have to adjust between a preliminary post-hearing and the hearing itself as per your ruling, but the house can determine fairly their case. They should be given time to defend their case."
12:16 p.m.: Siaya Senator James Orengo clarifies on the confusion surrounding the response to the case laid by the County Assembly of Kiambu after the Senate argued that Waiitu should not be allowed to speak, arguing that the case was open and Waititu should be given a chance to speak and present evidence.
11: 00 a.m.: Jubilee Nominated MP Isaac Mwaura states that the Senate had rejected Waititu's plea to file evidence out of time as he was requesting.
"He has not filed any defence and he waited for all the matters to be raised for him to want to open the case afresh. The people of Kiambu and Kenyans need justice. Waititu must face the full force of the law. No thief should go unpunished," Mwaura posted on Facebook.
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