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Blow to Kitui Assembly as court halts Ngilu impeachment

Kitui County Assembly has suffered a setback in its plans to impeach Governor Charity Ngilu on Monday 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 Honour Summons of the Senate, failing to comply with the two-third gender rule in appointments, violation of the constitutional right to health of the people of Kitui, conflict of interest and abuse of office in the purchase of a stationary stone crusher plant, irregular and unlawful hiring of the County Secretary and failure to dismiss Phillip Mutinda Mumo, the impeached CEC for Trade, Co-operatives & Investments.

Ngilu is also accused of gross violation of the Income Tax Act by failing to remit statutory deductions to KRA, violation of the Public Finance Management Act on the management of the county wage bill, failure to constitute a County Public Service Board, gross violation of the Public Finance Management Act, undermining the authority of the County Assembly and reasonable grounds that the Governor has committed crimes under Sections. 96, 391 and 393 of the Penal Code Cap 63 laws of Kenya.

Meanwhile, the impeachment motion has elicited mixed reactions amongst the locals with some supporting it and others coming to Ngilu’s defence.

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.

They also claimed that movers of the motion were driven by malice and did not adhere to legal provisions in crafting the impeachment motion.

But the Assembly announced that it would obey the court orders and put off the oyster debate until the matter is resolved.

“As lawmakers and law abiding citizens, it’s only prudent for us to follow the law. But the governor should rest assured that her impeachment will proceed as planned once the court matter is concluded,” declared Majority Leader Peter Kilonzo.

The inter-parte hearing has been skates for July 6, 2020.

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