Waititu urges Senate to accord him fair hearing in ouster case
Embattled Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu yesterday made a passionate appeal for senators to allow justice prevail as they hear an impeachment motion against him.
Making his opening remarks when the motion kicked off, Waititu said the impeachment was driven by propaganda and political differences in the county.
“The whole process is politically instigated and the allegations against me lack basis and should be treated as so,” he said.
The governor fought to convince senators that the Kiambu County Assembly did not meet the threshold when they passed the verdict.
While the threshold is two-thirds of the membership or 62 Members of the County Assembly, only 57 were present.
“I urge you to be fair in dispensing this motion, some of you might find yourselves in the same precarious position. Your decision today will inform decisions for such motions in future,” Waititu said.
And the issue of legality of the impeachment motion took centre stage with Waititu’s lawyers insisting that it was not properly brought before the Senate as there was no resolution from the County Assembly.
Lawyer Charles Njenga, for Waititu said without a resolution from the County Assembly the Senate sitting is illegally constituted.
He told the senators that the motion was unfittingly before them since the law requires that the Senate be convened within seven days to hear the motion but in Waititu’s case it took three weeks.
Lawyer Ng’ang’a Mbugua also for Waititu, sought to bring in preliminary objections to the impeachment proceedings, saying the issue of threshold had been proved and so invalidated the impeachment process.
Mbugua told the Senate that logs were available to show that some MCAs did not participate in the voting process but were listed to have voted.
Waititu through his lawyers also wanted the issue of admissibility of documents out of the stipulated time be considered before the hearing commenced.
But Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula told him it would be meaningless to hear the two objections if it is proven that indeed the threshold was not met.
“If proven the matter will die there and then. What the governor should do is to demonstrate that the sitting that kicked him outdid not meet the requisite numbers,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen urged the House to allow the preliminary objections be determined first since the contention was whether an impeachment took place or not.
Lawyer Nani Mungai for the County Assembly said Waititu has been charged with accountability issues and abuse of office.
Solomon Kinuthia the MCA who moved the motion, was hard pressed to produce evidence that indeed the required number of members participated in the impeachment motion.