Nine governors to know their fate on Wednesday
Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi said she will give a ruling on Wednesday morning on whether to grant an order stopping them from appearing to answer questions on financial management in their counties.
The governors include Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma), Isaac Ruto (Bomet), William Kabogo (Kiambu), Julius Malombe (Kitui), Jack Ranguma (Kisumu), Kinuthia Mbugua (Nakuru), Samuel Tanui (Narok), Hussein Dado (Tana River) and Ahmed Abdullahi (Wajir).
The judge made the decision after a hearing that proceeded without the Senate filing a response to the suit despite a direction that they be served with copies of the papers and respond by Tuesday.
The International Legal Consultancy Group sued the Senate and its clerk on Monday seeking orders to stop the nine governors and County Executive Committee members from appearing at County Hall on Wednesday.
Lawyers Ahmednassir Abdullahi, Issa Mansur and Peter Wanyama remained adamant that governors need an interpretation on superficial powers of the Senate as the House has no business with the County Governments.
“We are seeking orders that raise fundamental issues not just on governance but equally on whether we are governed by the rule of law or blending with the wind of purported powers,” Mr Ahmednassir said.
He noted said that although the Senate can only summon a governor on the basis of consultation and corporation it would create an impression that devolution is non-existent hence the need for a specific power to mediate on the two levels governments.
“The Senate is seizing County Assemblies off their powers; they can’t summon everybody even though the provision is any person, the National Assembly and the County Assembly are distinct,” he added.
In the petition, Governors agree that the Senate has powers to scrutinise financial records for purposes of deciding on impeachment, intervention, suspension, and developing a national legislation necessary for more prudent management of finances at the county level.
The embattled governors claim that the Senate needs to avoid intruding into county governance but perform oversight role in county finances.
They also want a declaration that accounting officers of a national public entity and the County public entity are accountable to the National Assembly and the County Assembly respectively and that the Senate’s oversight role over nationally collected revenue to counties is not similar to the County Assembly’s over the executive.
According to the summon letters, the Constitution empowers the Senate and any of its committees to summon any persons for the purpose of giving evidence or providing information on matters related to resolutions and bills for appropriations as well as share of national revenue in counties.
It is also stated that the Senate can issue summons on all matters concerning the national budget including public finance monetary policies and public debt trading activities as well as commerce, tourism, investment, and planning and development policy.-nation.co.ke