Senate committee to hear Mahamud censure named
The fate of Governor Mohamed Mahamud who was impeached by the Wajir County Assembly now lies in the hands of an 11-member senate committee.
This despite a court order barring the Senate from debating the impeachment of Governor Mahamud.
Last week, Mahamud was impeached by 37 MCAs with 10 voting against on claims of corruption, gross misconduct and abuse of office despite three court orders suspending his impeachment.
Yesterday, senators approved a motion to establish a 11-member committee to hear the governor’s impeachment charges.
The committee will be chaired by Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni and will be deputised by Susan Kihika (Nakuru).
Other members are members will include Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Mwangi Githiomi (Nyandarua), Godana Hargura (Marsabit).
They also include Mithika Lithuri (Meru), Fred Outa (Kisumu), Agnes Muthama (Machakos), Issa Juma (Kwale) and Nominated Senators Petronilla Were and Christine Zawadi.
“The special committee having been established, I urge the committee to move with speed, as the timelines are already running out,” Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka ruled.
“I also urge the special committee to table its report within the specified period of 10 days.”
The hearing kicks off on Tuesday next week when the Wajir County Assembly team or witnesses expected to be given at least three hours to present evidence and justify the impeachment.
The process will proceed the next day when the governor and his defence team will be accorded time for the rebuttal to defend against the allegations.
The committee will afterwards retreat to write their report.
The established of the committee did not go without drama with a some senators preferring the plenary route accused those pushing for a select committee of impropriety.
“The only problem about committees, because I want to disclose these things, is that if a committee acquits they don’t bring the committee report for a vote,” Mutula Kilonzo Jnr submitted.
Mutula added: “But are we saying honestly that a committee cannot convict the same way a plenary can convict? The only problem is that we have never set clear precedent on how to proceed.”
This is despite spirited attempts by Wajir Senator Abdullahi Ali Kabreta and his nominated counterpart Farhiya Ali who claimed the special committee may be inclined to save the governor against all odds.
Kabreta challenged his colleagues to adopt the plenary, if they want to know what’s happening in Wajir.
“Let’s allow the plenary so that the county assembly will say what they have to say. As the Senator for Wajir I will say what I have to say,” he said.
“But if we always want to hide behind committees, that will not be fair, that will not be good for the people of Wajir.
The people of Wajir might even curse the Senate because this is not the right way to go,” he added.’
According to him, when done in the plenary there are no special senators more than others.
On her part, Farhiya opined that in the life of the House, it had carried out four impeachments, two through plenary and another through 11 member team.