12 January 2018

Kenya: Former MP Wants Embu Governor Martin Wambora Impeached

Former Manyatta MP Emilio Kathuri has moved to court seeking the removal of Embu Governor Martin Wambora from office, claiming that he is unfit to hold office following his impeachment three years ago.

Mr Wambora's impeachment was invalidated by the High Court on the basis that then Speaker Kariuki Mate and Assembly Clerk Jim Kauma had acted in contempt of court by allowing debate on the motion.

The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

'UNFIT'

However, the Supreme Court two weeks ago ruled that Mr Kariuki and Mr Kauma were not in contempt of the court and also faulted Justice Cecilia Githua for interfering with a constitutional process.

Mr Kathuri is seeking interpretation of the Supreme Court's judgment, saying Mr Wambora stood impeached for gross violation of the Constitution.

Mr Kathuri, who was former Senator Lenny Kivuti's running mate on August 8, 2017, argued that since Mr Wambora's impeachment was quashed on the basis of the now annulled contempt of court allegations, the January 16, 2014 process stands.

He argues that after the County Assembly of Embu impeached Wambora, a special committee of the Senate established the governor was culpable for the loss of public funds in procurement of maize seeds and refurbishment of Embu Stadium hence is unfit to hold public office.

"He was reinstated on the basis that the process was bad in law for being taken out in disobedience of an order that had been made by Justice Cecilia Githua. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal. "The Supreme Court reversed the decision of both courts to the extent it declared that the order made on January 21, 2014 as unconstitutional, null and void ab initio. I verily believe that the respondent (Wambora) was therefore removed from office in the manner provided for and contemplated at Article 181 of the Constitution," reads part of the affidavit.

BINDING

Mr Kathuri says the decision of the Supreme Court was binding on all courts and tribunals and thus Mr Wambora should be declared unfit to hold office under the provisions of Article 181 of the Constitution and section 33 of the County Governments Act.

"The import of the judgment is that the removal process of the respondent as Embu County governor that was initiated by the County Assembly of Embu on January 16, 2014 and that was approved by the Senate on February 14, 2014 was regular, lawful and proper," said Mr Kathuri.

The hearing of the case is set for January 25.

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