alexa Embattled Nyandarua minister fights to remain in office - Daily Nation

Embattled Nyandarua minister fights to remain in office

Sunday August 11 2019

Nyandarua Speaker Wahome Ndegwa

Nyandarua Speaker Wahome Ndegwa in a past assembly session. A special committee appointed by the assembly to investigate abuse of office claims against communications executive Kariuki Mbataru has been adjourned. PHOTO | WAIKWA MAINA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WAIKWA MAINA
By WAIKWA MAINA
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A special committee appointed by Nyandarua County Assembly to investigate abuse of office claims against communications executive Kariuki Mbataru was adjourned on Wednesday.

Mr Kariuki accused the committee of not giving him enough time to prepare his defence.

Mr Mbataru said he had no faith in MCA Gathure Wambui-chaired committee.

He claimed the committee had already shown bias and in the way it was conducting the exercise.

EVIDENCE

“Failure to provide me with sufficient details of the allegations and the evidence the committee intends to rely upon violates Article 25, 47 and 50 of the Constitution. The committee appears to have a predetermined verdict,” said Mr Mbataru.

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He said that in the impeachment motion against him contravened the law and the Articles of the Constitution. He said that no evidence was adduced to support the allegations.

“The process violated fair administrative action under Article 47 as it was unlawful, unreasonable, and procedurally unfair,” said the executive.

He complained of being denied the opportunity to attend the proceedings when witnesses testified in the impeachment process.  

“You gave me extremely short notices to appear before the committee which amounts to unfair hearing. The failure of the county assembly to follow due process in the impeachment process is tantamount to breach of rules of natural justice,” said Mr Mbataru.  

SHORT NOTICE

“I received a short message service (SMS) on August 7, 2019 at 17:24hrs informing me that the committee would be cross examining a witness on August 8, 2019. The hard copy of the letter was delivered the following day at 8:00am. The notice period was too short considering the weight of the matters beforehand,” said the embattled executive member.

Mr Mbataru said that on August 8, 2019, he received another summons to appear before the committee on August 10, 2019 at a hotel in Nakuru town.

“On the same day at 1753hrs, I received communication that the venue had been changed to County Assembly Chambers, Ol Kalou,” he told the committee. 

He said the rampant change of venue and time of the hearing indicates of a strong scheme to confuse him with the end goal of having him fail to attend the hearing. 

Mr Mbataru has denied the abuse of office allegations.

He is accused of illegally employing persons in public office and establishing decentralised units in the county.

 “All vacancies are filled by the County Public Service Board as outlined in the County Governments Act No. 17 of 2012. There is no evidenced adduced that I have created any decentralised structures,” said Mr Mbataru.

The committee chairman adjourned the trial to Wednesday to give the accused enough time to prepare his defence.