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Daily Nation : February 6th 2014
DAILY NATION Thursday February 6, 2014 IMPEACHMENT | Committee meets today to discuss injunction Senate criticised over Wambora Lawyers and oversight organ accuse House of violating Constitution in governor’s dispute BY JOHN NGIRACHU @JohnNgirachu email@example.com AND SAMUEL KARANJA @Wachege1 firstname.lastname@example.org T he constitution implementation team and East African lawyers have urged the Senate to obey a court order on the impeachment of Embu Governor Martin Wambora. The Senate committee appointed to handle the matter is this morning headed for a two-day retreat to consider a court order stopping the impeachment proceedings. The Commission on the Implemen- tation of the Constitution and the East Africa Law Society yesterday said the Senate would be blatantly breaking the law if it proceeds to discuss the removal of the governor and his deputy, Ms Dorothy Nditi. The Senate committee chairman, Dr Boni Khalwale, said the retreat was convened “to respond to very serious important issues.” Dr Khalwale said Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro had already invited Mr Wambora, Ms Nditi, the Speaker of the Embu County Assembly and WHAT’S ALLEGED Leader accused of allowing graft Ignoring county assembly: The Embu assembly members accused Mr Wambora of ignoring their recommendations to sack a county official for failing to follow procurement laws. Project cost: The governor is further accused of authorising the increase of the cost of the face-lift of Embu Stadium from Sh8 million to Sh42 million. Tender: He allegedly to authorised purchase of Sh35 million maize seed without tendering. ANALYSIS | John Ngirachu Will Senators play supremacy game in impeachment case? B efore they approved the setting up of a committee to investigate the allegations against Embu governor Martin Wambora, the Senators seemed to have been reading from the same script. What they were about to embark on, they said, was a judicial process and the committee ought to ignore the politics, any canvassing and opinions about the matter. But Migori Senator Wilfred Machage appeared to have not been properly briefed on the collective thinking and he started with what came out sounding like a war cry. “Ukiona simba amenyeshewa, usidhani ni paka (Don’t assume that a lion that has been rained on is a cat),” he began. The adage is commonly used by people warning their opponents not to underestimate their power because they appear to be down on their luck. Deputy Minority Leader Ab- dirahman Ali quickly cut him short because contrary to the Speaker’s instructions, he was going to discuss the impeachment instead of the formation of the committee. Dr Machage had by then made his point; the consideration of the impeachment was an opportune time to show the governors what the Sen- ate can do. Often derided by their colleagues in the National Assembly as idle because of the low volume of work they have, the impeachment has given the Senate an opportunity to flex its muscle. The impeachment comes in the wake of fighting between the governors and senators. This was first over the County Development Bill, which would put senators in charge of development in the counties. Governors were fiercely opposed to this because, they said, ‘‘ it would amount to undermining them by placing them at the periphery in the implementation of the pledges they made before the elections. “It’s going to be more of sena- tors’ egos because they feel they have lost legislative authority to the National Assembly, so they turn to county governments,” said Mr Ahmed Abdullahi, the Wajir governor, of the Bill. Several senators who contrib- uted to the motion on Tuesday afternoon appeared to have these things in mind. “This motion comes at a Humility is lacking in some office holders at the county level ” Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o time when, governors have intentionally refused to accept summons by our committee,” said Dr Machage “The Senate will be sending a message that we take our responsibility seriously, that we will not shy (away) from playing our role where there is need for the law to be applied,” said Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi). Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kis- umu) said there would be a lesson for other governors in the task the Senate is undertaking, adding: “Humility is lacking in some office holders at the county level and it is bringing issues between governors and MCAs and perhaps this process will bring some humility.” the assembly itself to testify at the committee. Asked whether the committee would heed the court order, of which the Senate’s lawyers have a copy, Dr Khalwale said all that would be discussed at the retreat. CIC Chairman Charles Nyachae said the Senate should have suspended discussing the issue until a case Mr Wambora has filed is determined. “Both the county assembly and National News 5 Press groups’ files missing from registry BY NATION REPORTER Registration files of the Kenya Editors Guild and Kenya Correspondents Association cannot be found at the Registrar of Societies. The documents went missing days after the two journalists’ lobby groups filed a case challenging the constitutionality of a new media law. Revealing the development yesterday, the editors’ guild vicechairman, Mr David Ohito, and the correspondents’ association chairman, Mr William Janak, accused the government of trying to frustrate the media. PHOEBE OKALL | NATION CIC chairman Charles Nyachae (right) and other officials address a news conference in Nairobi yesterday. They urged the Senate to obey a court order that prevented it from discussing impeachment of Embu Governor Martin Wambora. the Senate have an obligation to respect the Constitution and in this case therefore, obey the orders of the court,” he said. East African Law Society boss Aggrey Mwamu said: “If anybody is dissatisfied with the court orders they must go to court and set aside the same.” UPDATES NEW 20667 S Raising concerns The guild has written to the registrar over the matter. “For the better part of this week, we have been unable to access the documents,” the letter says. “Numerous visits to the registry have been futile as the files cannot be traced.” The guild further claims, in the January 31 letter, that some impostors were claiming to be officials of the editors’ body. The organisations said they would not be scared off from challenging the legality of the Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Act and the Media Council Act 2013.
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