Kenya: Ngilu to Face MCAs On Wednesday Ahead of Impeachment Trial

Nairobi — Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu is set to appear before the Kitui County Assembly on Wednesday to respond to allegations contained in a notice of impeachment motion forwarded to her on June 23.

In a notification letter dated July 9, Kitui County Assembly Speaker George Ndotto, said the Governor may choose to appear by herself or through a legal counsel.

"This is to notify you that the Motion dated 16th June, 2020 calling for the removal of the governor, County Government of Kitui by impeachment shall be considered by the County Assembly of Kitui between 15th July 2020 and 17th July 2020 in the line with Standing Order 60 of the Kitui County Assembly Standing orders," the speaker's letter read in part.

The impeachment comes barely five days after the High Court allowed Kitui MCAs to proceed with the impeachment motion against the governor.

Ngilu had argued the constitutional requirement of public participation was not met because of the outbreak of coronavirus. But in his ruling, Justice Weldon Korir said nobody knows when the pandemic will be contained and new ways must be designed to achieve constitutional requirements in such matters.

"Legislative business cannot stall because of a disease that is at the moment beyond human control. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the respondents to ensure the impeachment process meets the constitutional threshold both procedurally and substantively," Justice Korir said in his ruling.

Kitui County Assembly Majority Leader Peter Kilonzo with the support of 40 out of 56 MCAs want the Governor ousted on allegations of violating the Constitution and provisions of the County Government Act, abuse of office and failure to account for public funds.

He also accuses Ngilu of undermining the authority of the County Assembly and conflict of interest in awarding county tenders.

The mover of the motion further accuses the Governor of failing to honour summons of the Senate Committee on County Public Investment and Accounts to shed light on audit queries regarding the management and expenditure of county funds amounting to Sh20 billion for 2017/2018 and 2018/ 2019 financial years.

The MCAs also accuse Ngilu of conflict of interest and abuse of office in the purchase of a stationary stone crusher valued at Sh85 million and whose tender, the motion claims by way of attaching procurement documents; was awarded to the governor's relative through single sourcing and in which public funds are believed to have been embezzled.

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