After impeachment, Waititu’s fate now lies in Senate - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 20 December 2019

After impeachment, Waititu’s fate now lies in Senate

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu
The fate of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is now in the hands of the Senate, after Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) impeached him on Thursday.
The law stipulates that the Senate must, within 10 days of receiving the county assembly’s resolution from the Speaker, convene and set up a special committee or sit as a committee of the whole House to determine whether or not the claims in the impeachment are substantiated.
If a special committee is set up, it must, within the 10 days, return the verdict to the Senate, which must be approved by 50 per cent of the elected senators.
The governor will be required to appear to answer to the charges levelled against him, whether before a special committee or the Senate as a whole.
If the Senate finds the claims substantiated, Mr Waititu will need to appear before it before it makes a decision, but if the claims are unsubstantiated, that will be the end of the proceedings.
Meanwhile, the governor cannot do anything until his fate is decided by the Senate.
Mr Waititu’s impeachment is a big boost to the deputy governor’s camp. Mr James Nyoro, who has been acting governor, has been working to consolidate his support.
The Kiambu governor becomes the fourth to be impeached after Embu Governor Martin Wambora, Kericho’s Paul Chepkwony and Taita-Taveta’s Granton Samboja.
Mr Wambora was, however, saved by the court, while Prof Chepkwony and Mr Samboja were given a lifeline by the Senate.
During Thursday’s sitting, 63 MCAs voted to have Mr Waititu ousted. Twenty-eight were absent.
Only Kiambu Township Ward Rep Anthony Ikonya Mwaniki, a close ally of Mr Waititu, opposed the impeachment.
He was later kicked out of the assembly by Speaker Stephen Ndichu for being unruly.
Earlier, the Speaker had adjourned the debate on technicalities, but it resumed at 3.45 pm.
The focus now shifts to the Judiciary, where Mr Waititu expects to get a ruling today on his application to be reinstated to the office after he was barred from going there until his graft case is determined.
Ndenderu MCA Solomon Kinuthia, who moved the motion, accused Mr Waititu of abetting corruption, and direct conflict of interest, with the governor’s family accused of doing business with the county, and over-budgeting in the roads department for kick-backs.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Mr Elijah Njoroge, the MCA for Biashara Ward in Ruiru.
“This is a big win for the people of Kiambu. We’ve shown that our fight was against impunity, corruption, and wastage in Kiambu County. We hope that the next step involving the Senate to fully oust Mr Waititu will go through,” Mr Solomon Kinuthia, who had fronted the motion to the assembly, told the Nation after the vote.
“Our fight against Mr Waititu is a fight against corruption and impunity. The governor had made the county a family business, doing multi-million-shilling business transactions with both his family members and his proxies in order to get kick-backs,” Mr Njoroge said.
Mr Waititu’s political star, which had been steadily rising, began waning after he was charged in court. The governor, together with his wife Susan Wangari and eight others, are facing corruption cases after being accused of irregularly awarding themselves Sh580 million tenders.
Since Mr Waititu was implicated in graft and barred from accessing the county headquarters, Dr Nyoro has been acting as the governor.

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