Senate rejects Samboja bid to halt ouster plan
The woes facing Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja deepened yesterday after Senators rejected his bid to stop impeachment proceedings against him and threatened to go ahead with the matter without his participation.
Samboja had moved to stop the impeachment proceedings and urged the Senate to halt the process until a court case he has filed is heard and determined.
But the Senate threw out his plea, and allowed the Taita Taveta County Assembly to table detailed grounds for calling for Samboja’s impeachment.
The county Assembly led by lawyer Charles Njenga, listed seven grounds why Samboja should be forced to leave office. These include: alleged misappropriation of funds including purchase of drilling rigs without a budget, formation of unwarranted task forces, failing to submit to the county assembly an annual report on the implementation status of the county policies and plans as required by the County Governments Act, 2012, as well as failure to deliver the annual State of the County Address.
Others are the stalling of construction of Voi Stadium despite Sh94 million having been set aside for the project, failure to remit statutory deductions amounting to Sh38 million to the relevant institutions including the Kenya Revenue Authority, the National Hospital Insurance Fund and the National Social Security Fund, misleading the people of Taita-Taveta county, contrary to Section 19 of the Public Officers’ Ethics Act, and gross misconduct.
The MCAs claimed they were served with orders not to proceed with the impeachment when they had already forwarded their petition to the Senate.
The development came hours after it emerged that senators, who are expected to table their report on the impeachment before the House tomorrow, were considering upholding the decision of MCAs to have Samboja removed from office.
Yesterday, the special committee that is led by Embu Senator Njeru Ndwiga, rejected an application by Samboja’s lawyer Nelson Havi, to have proceedings of the committee stayed as the matter was active in court.
“Taking into account the mandate of the Special Committee as set out in section 33 of the County Governments Act, 2012, and standing order 75 of the Senate Standing Orders, and further taking into account the directive by the Deputy Speaker of the Senate, the Special Committee dismisses the preliminary objection and resolves to proceed with the hearing in accordance with the hearing programme,” said Ndwiga.
Havi said that by considering the petition, the Senate was acting against the court ruling, which had restrained it from deliberating on the matter. He spoke on behalf of Samboja, who snubbed the invitation on grounds that the subject matter was pending before the courts.
“I humbly plead that an express reading of the Standing Order 98 implores the committee to abide by the sub judice rule. It is my request that the special committee downs its tools until this petition is heard and determined by the courts,” said Havi.