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Daily Nation : February 11th 2014
DAILY NATION Tuesday February 11, 2014 PROBE | Lawyers for the governor and County Assembly lock horns as the Senate defies court order It wasn’t me, Wambora tells team 5 Embu governor makes passionate plea to Senate committee probing his impeachment that he is innocent of all charges BY JEREMIAH KIPLANG’AT @jere_kiplangat firstname.lastname@example.org E mbattled Embu Governor Martin Wambora yesterday fought his ouster with an emotional it-wasn’t-me speech. Mr Wambora told the Senate com- mittee investigating his impeachment that he was innocent of all charges filed by the County Assembly, and that he was the wrong person in the dock. This was after Senate Clerk Jere- miah Nyegenye read five accusations against him. They included violation of the Constitution, abuse of office, violation of the Public Finance Management Act and Procurement and Disposal Act, and breach of County Government Act. The Embu County Assembly im- peached Mr Wambora two weeks ago, and the Senate team started its hearings after ignoring a High Court order stopping the process. Mr Wambora started by defending his morality and integrity as a public servant. “This is the same Wambora who used to account for each cent given to him by President (Daniel) arap Moi,” he said. “I am a spiritual man. I started as an altar boy during the Holy Masses on Sundays. I have been a devoted semi- EVANS HABIL | NATION Embu Governor Martin Wambora addresses the Senate team investigating his ouster at Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi yesterday. narian. I almost became a priest.” He also informed the 11-member committee led by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale that he worked for the government for 24 years without an eyebrow being raised on his integrity. “My values are still intact. I have been a law-abiding civil servant for 25 years. I have worked at the Ministry of Finance and was in charge of billions and billions of security funds. In all those years, I have never been summoned by the Public Accounts Committee,” he said. Mr Wambora was represented by lawyers Wilfred Nyamu and Peter Wanyama as Charles Njenga and George Mbugua acted for the assembly. The lawyers gave opening state- ments to lay ground for the three-day public hearings at KICC in Nairobi. “The governor was not served with the impeachment notice. He was basically oblivious of the allegations made against him,” Mr Nyamu said. “The governor has no role under either the Public Finance Management Act or the procurement law. We are going to show that he has no role whether acted or imagined in respect to allegations made by the County Assembly.” He defended Mr Wambora against any wrongdoing saying, “There is a county public service board that works independent of the governor.” Lawyers for the assembly fought the submission that Mr Wambora had no role to play in procurement and accused him of procuring maize seeds that did not germinate. They said the governor had not appointed a tender committee as required by the procurement law. “There is no tender committee to evaluate tenders. Where are the specific members of this committee purported to have overseen tenders? We will show this committee that there is no single letter appointing any member of the purported committee,” Mr Njenga said. The hearing continues today. Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete is among the few leaders that have confirmed attendance. Kenya will be represented by Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu. The talks targeting elephants, SMS ‘BREAKING NEWS’ to 20667 Rangers on Embobut forest watch to ward off squatters BY NATION REPORTER Some 39 Kenya Forest Service rangers have been posted to Embobut reserve in Elgeyo Marakwet County to keep watch and ward off squatters recently evicted from the area. Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu yesterday said this was among a raft of measures the government had taken to protect the forest. Embobut is part of the Cherangani forest ecosystem, one of the five major water towers in the country. Speaking during a press confer- ence at the ministry’s headquarters in Nairobi, Prof Wakhungu said a recent assessment by Elgeyo Marakwet leaders after the squatters were evicted showed an estimated 16,000 hectares — 80 per cent of the forest — had been destroyed. The destruction was blamed on human settlement, cultivation, logging and overgrazing. The Embobut forest covers 21,933.9 hectares. The governor, county commissioner and Kenya Forest Service staff noted the massive destruction during a tour of the reserve. “The forest rangers have been de- ployed across the forest and they are maintaining a 24-hour surveillance in all the affected areas. “At the same time, the communities are being sensitised through barazas on the need to keep off the forest,” Prof Wakhungu said. rhinos and tigers, will seek to tackle three interlinked aspects of the illegal wildlife trade. These are strengthening law enforcement, reducing the demand for wildlife products and supporting communities. The talks will also pressure destination countries China and Vietnam to discourage the trade. “We will also be using our in- ternational standing to lobby both source and destination countries to take action against the trade,” UK High Commissioner Christian Turner said yesterday. Dr Turner, who was briefing journalists, said Britain had committed Sh1.4 billion to tackle illegal wildlife trade across the world. Speakers at the conference will include Charles, Prince of Wales (above) and senior cabinet minister for environment Mr Owen Paterson. Number of charges levelled against the county boss ‘‘ Embu Governor Martin Wambora National News 3 UK to host global forum on wildlife poaching BY NATION REPORTER Britain has called an interna- tional conference that is expected to come up with coordinated global response to help eradicate increasing illegal wildlife trade. The one-day conference to be I am a spiritual man. I started as an altar boy during the Holy Masses on Sundays.” held in London on Thursday will bring together 65 countries across the globe. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other international organisations involved in wildlife conservation will also attend.
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