Senate summons Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua over abuse of office claims

mutuaNairobi, Kenya: Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua risks a jail term if he fails to honour Senate summons to appear before it over claims of abuse of office.

Senators are irked with the Governor, whom they accuse of belittling them by refusing to honour invites to answer to questions surrounding the administration of his government.

The lawmakers are probing the protracted wars between the Governor and his Deputy Benard Kiala even after the Senate declined to uphold his impeachment by the County Assembly last year.

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The Legal Affairs Committee chaired by Busia Senator Amos Wako Tuesday registered disappointment with the conduct of the governor for failing to appear before the committee following a petition by residents.

In reference to article 125 of the Constitution, the Senators reaffirmed that the Committee sitting has the powers same to the High Court and can be enforced if there is breach of the same.

“A House of Parliament and any of its committees has the same powers as the High Court to enforce the attendance of witnesses and examine them on oath, affirmation or otherwise. It can also compel the production of document and issue a request to examine witnesses abroad,” reads part of article 125.

In this case, if Mutua snubs the summons issued, he will be in contempt and liable to six months imprisonment, which automatically means he will lose his seat as Governor.

At the Committee meeting on Tuesday, Machakos County acting Secretary Grace Munguti was at pains to explain why her boss declined to appear before the committee.

Munguti, who has not been sworn in as per the law, told the committee that the governor had traveled to Japan for official duty.

“The Governor has traveled and has sent his apology,” said Ms Munguti.

Senate Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura took issue with Munguti’s response terming it casual without supporting the claims with documents that indeed the governor had traveled.

-standardmedia.co.ke

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