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MCAs on fishing expedition, Waiguru says as hearing starts

Friday July 03 2020
By IBRAHIM ORUKO

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has claimed that the Kirinyaga County Assembly is on fishing expedition in its push to impeach her.

She declared that MCAs cannot use her as their accomplice to prove their case against her.

Ms Waiguru, through her lead counsel Paul Nyamodi, told the 11-member special Senate committee probing her impeachment by the MCAs that it is upon the county assembly to prove the allegations it has made against her.

“It is the county assembly that framed the charges and there is no way her responses can be used against her. The governor has no issue to prove. It is the MCAs who should prove their allegations against her,” Mr Nyamodi said.

ACCUSATIONS

The lawyer was speaking at the start of the committee’s trial of the governor who was impeached on June 9 on account of gross violation of the Constitution, the written law and abuse of office charges.

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Mr Nyamdi was responding to preliminary objections raised by lawyer Ndegwa Njiru, who is representing the county assembly and who had accused the governor of supplying her responses in documents that were not legible and from which the MCAs cannot “deduce the purpose of the payment”.

The county assembly had also requested that the governor be compelled to submit before the committee both her diplomatic and personal passports so that the MCAs can “discern her travels”.

“It is difficult to respond substantively to what she has said about her travels because of the nature of the documents given to us,” Mr Njiru said, referring to files on the governor’s travels that were submitted to the county assembly.

SUBMIT CLEAR COPIES

“According to the documents submitted to us, she travelled to the US and China but it is not in the entries and exits are not clear,” he said, requesting the committee, which is chaired by Kakamega Senator Cleopha Malala to ask the governor to submit the clearer copies of the travel documents.

However, in his reply to the objection, Mr Nyamodi wondered what the MCAs relied on to frame their charge if they did not have the documents, saying that the ward reps were on a fishing expedition.

“What is the basis of their allegation that the governor never travelled?” Mr Nyamodi wondered, warning that her responses cannot be used as evidence against her.

On her part, the governor raised a preliminary objection in which she accuses the county assembly of supplying her with additional evidence to that forwarded to her by the Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka.

The documents, which Mr Nyamodi described as “unintelligible mass of a document” contain witness statements and evidence. But lawyer Njiru told the committee that the new evidence “improves” the MCAs’ case against the county chief.

LETTERS

The documents contain letters written by the office of the Controller of Budget written to the governor on June 10, a day after she was impeached on June 9.

There is also another letter in the document which is dated June 15, six days after the governor was impeached.

Mr Nyamodi wants the documents expunged from the records, arguing that Senate Rules do not allow the county assembly to introduce new evidence after it forwards the initial evidence to the Speaker of the Senate.

“The county assembly is [giving] this unintelligible mass of documents to improve on its quality of evidence as submitted to the Speaker of the Senate. The document should be expunged because it is not properly before this committee,” Mr Nyamodi said.

But Mr Njiru opposed the request, telling the committee that its role is to “fact find”.

“This objection is unfounded because an impeachment motion is a fact finding mission. Even courts have a way from technical delivery of evidence. What is important is that the committee should look at the delivery and execution of substantive justice,” he said.

“We urge the committee to allow the document because it will facilitate the delivery of justice to both the governor and the people of Kirinyaga,” Mr Njiru said.

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