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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 266
27th January - 31st January 2020

Editorial

Leadership and Patriotism Over Camaraderie

January 29th 2020 will certainly be a day to remember for the former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu alias Baba Yao after the Senate voted to impeach him. This was the second time the Senate chose to oust a Governor after Embu Governor Martin Wambora was served the same fate in the House. He, unlike Waititu, was able to find refuge in the appellate court that overturned the Senate’s decision.

Waititu’s attempt to fight the charges on a procedural technicality seemed to have worked against him as a majority of the Senators faulted his rather casual approach to the grave accusations. This perhaps speaks to the mindset that politicians have. That they can get away with anything without facing the consequences of their actions. Perhaps it was the narrative that the Senate sought to change having been accused previously of being a rubberstamping institution with no firm stand against the violation of laws.

In his statement, Waititu highlighted the issues of lack of quorum in the County Assembly when the motion to impeach him was tabled and the delay in submission of the charges by the County Assembly’s Speaker to the Speaker of the Senate Ken Lusaka as reasons to throw out the charges and the case altogether.

“When you query the quorum of the Kiambu County Assembly, I expected that the governor and his team would provide an affidavit of the people who did not attend that function,” said Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri. What Waititu and his counsel failed to note was that the burden of proof of innocence was on him and he failed to give a solid rebuttal.

Article 159 (2) (d) of the Constitution says,” In exercising judicial authority, the courts and tribunals shall be guided by the following principles, justice shall be administered without undue regard to procedural technicalities.” The Senate by a vote prioritized justice towards the people of Kiambu County. A majority spoke to their dedication to protecting the Constitution and devolution by ensuring that the counties are led and managed by law-abiding people.

News of the Week

Senate votes to impeach Waititu

After two days of hearing statements from the Kiambu County Assembly and Governor Ferdinand Waititu, the Senate voted to uphold the decision by the county assembly to impeach the governor over gross violation of the Constitution, crimes under the national law and abuse of office.
Governor Waititu through his counsel sort to beat the case through a preliminary objection but was faulted by a majority of the Senators for not bringing sufficient evidence in his defence for what was termed as grave accusations. For the three charges, the Senate voted as follows; first charge 27-11 and for the second and third charge 28-11. 
The determination of Waititu's fate was done in plenary after Senators voted against the establishment of an 11-member committee. Senate is set to resume normal proceedings on February 11th 2020.

 

Huduma Namba lawful, court rules

Judges Pauline Nyamweya, Mumbi Ngugi and Weldon Korir on Thursday ruled that there was public participation before the programme was rolled out. This ruling came after the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the Nubian Rights Forum and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHCR) had filed cases challenging the platform. The judges also said that other than the DNA and GPA coordinates, all the information collected by state from Kenyans was necessary.
KHRC had said there was no way of ensuring data collected from Kenyans was protected. However, the judges said personal data can be collected, including children's personal data. The judges said the state is at liberty to proceed with NIIMS process and use the data collected according to the law. But the judges noted that the collection of DNA information and GPS coordinates was intrusive and unnecessary therefore unlawful.

Nyoro Sworn in as Kiambu Governor

Dr James Nyoro was sworn is Kiambu Governor on Friday following the impeachment of Ferdinand Waititu two days earlier. Mr Nyoro officially replaced his boss with whom they had been involved in a power struggle. The swearing-in of James Nyoro had been preceded by a Kenya Gazette notice.
Justice John Onyiego conducted the ceremony, which was initially scheduled to be held on Thursday, but failed due to failure to comply with some of the procedures. The judge had on Thursday said the county committee on assumption of governor’s office had not followed the law regarding the exercise. The law (Assumption of Office of the Governor Act 2019) requires publication and notification of the swearing-in ceremony in the Kenya and the county Gazette stating the date, time and venue. The section also requires a governor to be sworn in the first Thursday after the 10th day following the declaration of results. The provisions should apply with necessary modifications to the swearing-in ceremony of the deputy governor who assumes office of the governor.

Quote of the Week

"This should send a signal to all governors because we cannot let this go. We cannot be talking about these things in this house and when they appear before us we say this is politics and we forget about our responsibility"

Quote by Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo during the debate on the motion to hear and determine the removal from office of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu on January 29th 2020.

Newsmaker this Week

Ferdinand Waititu's run as a first-time governor came to an abrupt end after the Senate voted to impeach him. The charges brought against him by the Kiambu county assembly were gross violation of the Constitution, crimes under the national law and abuse of office. The Senate had voted to hear and determine his case in plenary as opposed to a select committee. The house held special sittings for two days hearing statements from the county assembly and the governor before taking a vote. His fate was sealed after the court declined his request to stop the swearing-in of deputy governor James Nyoro as the third governor of Kiambu. 

... PROFILE

Bills before the Senate

First Reading

Public Participation

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