Kitui County Assembly has suffered a setback in its plans to impeach Governor Charity Ngilu on after the High Court issued orders halting the ouster bid.
This after Ngilu’s legal counsel led by Lawyers Morris Kimuli and Martin Oloo filed an application on June 24, 2020 challenging tabling and debating of the impeachment motion.
The motion to remove Ngilu from office was moved last week by Athi Ward Representative and the Assembly’s leader of majority Peter Kilonzo.
Some of the grounds advanced for the governor’s ouster include gross violation of the Constitution and the County Governments Act by failing to honor summons of the Senate.
Speaking to the press in Kitui on Sunday, Lawyers Kimuli and Oloo warned that proponents of the impeachment motion risk getting jailed for contempt of court should they choose to proceed with the ouster debate come Monday June 29, 2020.
They also claimed that movers of the motion were driven by malice and did not adhere to legal provisions in crafting the impeachment motion.
Athi Ward Representative, Peter Kilonzo drafted the motion in which Governor Ngilu is accused of violating the Constitution, abusing her office and gross misconduct.
In the motion in question, the MCA claims that the Governor was summoned to appear before the Senate Committee on County Public Investment and Accounts (CPIAC) to shed light on audit queries over management of the county funds and expenditure for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 financial years, cumulatively amounting to approximately Sh 20 million.
The audit queries had been raised by the Auditor General in the auditor general’s report for the years ended 30th June, 2018 and 30th June, 2019 respectively.
The motion has cited Ngilu’s for failure to comply with the two-thirds gender rule in the appointments of members of County Executive Committee, noting that since August 2019; the executive committee has only one female out of seven members.
Another reason the MCAs want Ngilu out is related to “conflict of interest and abuse of office” in the purchase of a stationary stone crusher valued at Sh 85 million and whose tender, the motion claims by way of attaching procurement documents, was awarded to the governor’s relative through single sourcing and in which public funds are believed to have been embezzled.
The motion has also indicted the Governor for undermining the authority of the assembly by failing to sack Philip Mumo, the County Executive in charge of Trade, Cooperatives and Investments who was last year impeached by the assembly.
The two arms of government have been at logger heads leading to the delay in passage of the county government’s bills to the chagrin of Governor Ngilu, who has accused Wiper Leader, Kalonzo Musyoka of undermining her administration through the majority Wiper MCAs in the assembly.
Governor Ngilu has pointed an accusing finger at the members of the majority wing in the assembly for playing politics with profound matters affecting the county leading to delay in achievement of developmental goals set out by the Ngilu administration.
Kitui Assembly Majority Leader Peter Kilonzo said they will obey the court orders and put off the impeachment debate until the matter before court is determined.
The petition will be heard on July 6, 2020.