LIVE Updates: Impeachment of Governor Ferdinand Waititu

The Senate congregates in a special sitting to discuss the impeachment motion of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. He will know his fate by 29th January as Senate delibarate on his impeachment. [Photo/nation.co.ke]

In Brief

All Senators will take part in the two-day special sitting.

– Governor Waititu to know his fate on Wednesday 29, January 2020.

– Waititu was impeached by Kiambu county MCAs in 2019.

The Senate has convened a special two-day sitting that will deliberate on the fate of embattled Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu who was impeached by the county assembly MCAs.

Kiambu County MCAs speak

“The evidence that you will hear in the course of today will demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that Gov. Waititu has failed on the account of accountability, political governance and has done so in a manner that warrants his removal,” – Counsel for the County Assembly (Kiambu).

The “crimes” of Waitutu – Kiambu MCAs

  1. Gross violation of the Constitution of Kenya(2010), County Government Act 2012, The Public Finance Management Act 2012, and the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005.  Lack of accountability in managing county resources by incurring unsustainable debts and other pending obligations to the tune of Sh4 billion. The pending obligations were not disclosed in the county physical strategy paper of 2019 thus violating Article 201(c) of the Constitution 2010 and section 107 2(c) of the Public Finance Management Act 2012. The county executive under the leadership of the county governor intentionally failed to draft the medium-term debt management strategy for the financial year 2018-19 in contravention of section 123 of the Public Finance Management Act 2012. This places Kiambu in a highly precarious financial position as it may lead to protracted and costly court battles with the creditors and eventual auctioning of county assets.

2. Violations of Article 176(1) and 185 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 by disregarding the County Assembly as an arm of the county government and further undermining its three cardinal roles of legislation, oversight and representation through systematic non-remittance of requisition funds in the financial year 2018-19. The Governor diverted funds intended for use by the assembly to projects where he would obtain personal benefits through irregular procurement. This systematic crippling of the assembly’s operations compromise the independence of this honourable house. This unwritten edict of the Governor violates Article 6 and 10 of the Constitution of Kenya (2010) that engenders the spirit of mutual respect, cooperation and consultations amongst all arms of government. Violation of Article 201(a) and (d) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that sets fundamental principals of public finance and further section 5 and 130(1)(b) of the Public Finance Management Act 2012. Violation of the Constitution(2010) Articles 201(a)(d) and (e) on the principals of public finance, Articles 227(1) on procurement of goods and service and Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005 by failing to adhere to the stipulated dictates of the law in awarding Sh2.1 billion road tarmacking contracts against the approved Sh1.4 billion in the financial year 2018-19 the purpose of the irregular awards was not provided for public roads but was intended to ensure the governor obtains personal kickbacks this has exposed the county to huge losses through potential suits for breach of contract and/or pending bills further it has exposed the county assembly members to ridicule in their Wards where promises to repair and construct roads were made from the governor who had no intention of honouring them.

3. Failure to establish the county budget and economic forum as stipulated in section 137 of the Public Finance Management Act (2012) as a result the county Governor has sabotaged public consultation as regards the preparation of county plans and budgets ultimately violating the provisions of section 91 and 115 of the County Government Act (2012) as well as Article 10 and 12 (a) 0f the Constitution that demands the involvement of the public in decision making. The failure was deliberate to create an atmosphere of chaos to facilitate the plunder and loss of public resources.

4. Crimes under the national law – The county governor committed serious crimes under the national law in the following way:

a. Violation of Article 40 of the Constitution on the protection of every person’s right to property and section 155 of the Lands Act 2012 which bars unlawful acquisition and occupation of property through the forceful dispossession of Mrs Cecilia Njoki Mbugua a widow of two prime plots of land within Thika Municipality. The two plots namely Thika Municipality Block 11/877 and 11/878 were part of the widow’s inheritance from her deceased husband the county governor promptly facilitated the irregular transfer of the said land totalling to 0.135 hectares on January 2, 2018, to Mrs Esther Wamwoyo Nyatu a common-law wife to and mother of the children of the governor. The Governor and his wife made an admission to the Ombudsman of the irregular acquisition of the land. The Ombudsman is a constitutional body and its finding of facts implicate the governor in impeachable conduct.

5. Abuse of office and gross misconduct in the following ways:

Conflict of interest and contravention of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act (2005) in influencing the award of lucrative tenders to companies associated to his immediate family and close relatives.

Violation of section 74 of the county government Act 2012, by usurping the powers of the County Service Board to regulate the engagement of persons on contract, volunteers and casual workers, in the county of Kiambu by directly creating directorates and hiring staff on casual basis as directors and assistant directors as well as sub-county administrators and ward administrators further to this the county Governor has hired over 600 casuals without the involvement of the Public Service Board. Upon realising that he had broken the law the governor caused all the said staff to be fired exposing the county to the risk of multiple suits and loss of public funds.

Violation of Article 226(5) through the imprudent payment of staffs without proper records as is required by the County Public Service Human resource manual.

Incurring unsustainable wage bill. The net effect unsustainable wage bill hence revenue collected used to pay wages instead of focusing on development.

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Waititu on trial

Waititu took to the stand and urged the Senate to be fair in his hearing since he considers himself innocent.

“The accusations against me are not sincere. I want to tell you there are so many things that happen in a county that has over 8000 employees. I beseech you to be fair,” said Waititu.

LIVE VIDEO UPDATES: Impeachment of Governor Waititu

Waititu also challenged his accusers to present any physical evidence to prove the accusations levelled against him.

“My accusers should present any document that implicates me on the cases of Thika land taken from the widow. I never requested the registrar to change the plots,” he added.

The Governor also cautioned the Senate that Kiambu county is a hotbed of propagandists who are geared toward destroying him.

“I am still innocent until proven guilty. Please the case in court let it continue I might be proven innocent who knows. Do all the fairness that should be done to any human begin. Listen to facts and not propaganda. Kiambu is known for having high-level propagandists,” said Waititu.

The Senate will reconvene at 2:30 pm to deliberate on the motion.

More to follow.