Impeached Wajir governor pulls return to office stunt
The power struggle between Wajir Governor Ahmed Ali Muktar and former Governor Mohamed Abdi Muhamud escalated yesterday after the latter stormed the county offices to “resume work”.
Armed with a court order and accompanied by uniformed police officers, Muhamud arrived at the county offices shortly after 9am in a vehicle plated GVN 008A, to signify that he was still the county chief despite his removal by the Senate in May.
The former governor reportedly took a “victory” lap in Wajir town purportedly to celebrate his return to work.
Muhamud, who was impeached on grounds of gross misconduct, violation of the Constitution and abuse of office, has pulled numerous stunts since his removal, the recent one being attending a Council of Governors meeting.
The impeachment has been challenged in court.
Addressing a press conference at the governor’s office, the former county chief said that he was making a comeback to office legally and not through unorthodox means.
“This is a political process but the court has given me orders to continue serving as your governor while my deputy Ahmed Ali Muktar will continue serving as my deputy until the court renders its decision, ” he said to the applause supporters who had accompanied him.
He went on: “I want to tell the people of Wajir to forget the past and focus ahead so that we address pertinent issues especially this time when drought and hunger are ravaging our people.”
“As a peaceful elder and statesman, I believe in the rule of law and wish to urge the people of Wajir to remain calm.
I pledge to continue serving my great people of Wajir County,” he added, saying he had secured a court order to continue serving as governor.
But in response, Governor Muktar who is said to have been in Nairobi meeting development partners, accused his former boss of trespass and vandalising his office.
In statement to newsrooms on Tuesday, Muktar said the former governor broke into his office.
“The penal code on vandalism is very clear on such matters. As I officially lodge a complaint to the National Police Service on this act, vandalism on a government office is illegal and amounts to treasonous charges,” the governor said in his statement.
“There are security procedures in accessing a government office/premises that the former totally breached,” he added.
He said his security detail with the help of the county security team will assess the damages and documents that may have been taken away from the premises so that he can file a complaint with the relevant authorities.
“My government will not tolerate acts of indecency, illegal takeover and irresponsible assembling that compromises the security of our county headquarters,” he said.
Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, who represented the Wajir County Assembly during the impeachment proceedings, termed Muhamud’s actions a circus and a national shame.
“Former Wajir Governor got himself a fake and forged court order and then got himself a fake number plate and stormed County offices this morning,” Abdullahi tweeted.
“So the impeachment by the Senate is wished away,?” he asked.
But in response, Peter Wanyama, who is one of the lawyers of the lawyers who represented the former governor, said there was a valid court order suspending all proceedings after the impugned impeachment.
“The Governor is in order. We wrote a letter to the AG on this and the AG has properly advised relevant government agencies to support the elected Governor,” Wanyama tweeted.