WAMBORA SAYS ‘POWERFUL FORCES’ REMOVED HIM

martin wamboraOUSTED Embu governor Martin Wambora yesterday blamed unnamed powerful forces for ousting him from office. He spoke as governors yesterday moved to both the High Court and Supreme Court to restrain the Senate. However senators vowed yesterday to impeach any other governor if enough grounds are established.

And in the Senate, senators started reviewing individual reports by the Auditor General on each of the 47 counties. Wambora was speaking for the first time on record since he was impeached on Friday by the Senate on three violations.

“It beats logic for a few individuals to hatch a plot to remove me, even after being voted to office overwhelmingly. They are doing it simply because they have their preferred person they want to impose on the people through the back door. I will fight this to the bitter end,” Wambora told the Star on the phone.

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Embu Deputy Governor Dorothy Nditi has already taken over despite fears by some local leaders that her takeover may upset the power sharing agreement between the Embus and the Mbeeres.

Wambora claimed thaty some local leaders were unhappy with his victory in March 2013 and closed ranks with “powerful forces” to remove him. He declined to name the people involved and only said he would pray for them.

“They were hell bent on seeing that the people’s choice does not serve his full term. We pray that the people’s cry and democratic rights will be heard and adhered to,” said Wambora.

Yesterday Christians for Human Rights, a lobby group based in Mombasa, claimed the plot to remove Wambora was hatched in early January when 33 Embu MCAs retreated to a Mombasa hotel.

CHR, led by Patrick Renson, has vowed to move to court to invalidate the impeachment on procedural grounds. “We have evidence that we are set to table in the High Court to show that a certain billionaire-politician funded the Mombasa retreat for MCAs where they impeached Wambora before formalizing the deal at the County Assembly barely a week later,” said Renson.

Yesterday the governors sought a Supreme Court advisory on summonses and lodged a parallel case at the High Court to block the Senate from summoning nine governors including Isaac Rutto of Bomet.

Through the International Legal Consultancy Group, the governors told the High Court the summons are in contravention of the constitution. Judge Mumbi Ngugi certified the case as urgent and directed the parties to appear before her today. She declined to grant any orders saying the matter was weighty and needed Senate’s input.

“The Senate’s oversight role over nationally collected revenue to counties is not identical to the county assembly’s oversight over the executive. This means Senate cannot scrutinize county expenditures in the same way that the committees and general assemblies of the county legislature can,” the governors claimed.

In the Supreme Court, the governors want clarity on performance of their duties, disciplinary action and the process to be followed in disciplining them.

They also want the court to render an opinion on standard of proof required to remove them, and what constitutes abuse of office and gross misconduct.

“We are seeking the court to interpret the constitution and County Governments Act to first of all understand whether in a real sense the governor is an accounting officer,” Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi said.

Abdullahi chairs the Finance and Economic Committee of the Governor’s Council and is among the nine summoned to appear before the Senate. The petition was filed by the Council of Governors through Manyonge Wanyama Advocates.

“The work of the governor is well spelled out in the law. They are not small gods and when they mess up with public resources, they should know that senators are on the watch,” Kajiado Senator Peter Mositet told the Star yesterday.

“The writing are on the wall now for all the governors to know that Senate has the power and mandate to check and oversight the functions and deeds of governors,” said Kiambu senator Kimani Wamatangi.

Kericho senator Charles Keter dismissed claims by Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto that the Jubilee government is plotting to kill devolution through impeachments.

However yesterday the Controller and Auditor General yesterday released to the Senate individual audit reports for all 47 county governments and listed mismanagement of millions of shillings.

The Machakos report, leaked to the Star, claims that 15 Subaru Outback cars purchased by Governor Dr Alfred Mutua for his ministers were not registered under the county government but in the names of individuals.

The report further alleges spending of Sh14 million shillings in various projects that cannot be accounted for. Yesterday Dr Mutua said he had not yet seen the report and would only respond to questions after he had read it.

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