Gachagua blames ex-Mathira MP for his impeachment woes

Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua. PHOTO | JOSEPH
Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Embattled Nyeri governor Nderitu Gachagua yesterday blamed former Mathira MP Ephraim Maina for his woes, accusing him of hosting four meetings between April and July with intention of ousting him from office.

Mr Gachagua told the Senate plenary that four meetings were held at a hotel in Nyeri and Mr Maina’s rural home before his fate was finally sealed at the end of July.

He accused MCAs of demanding financial favours amounting to millions of shillings to drop his impeachment.

“The meetings to plot for my removal were held at the home and under the chairmanship of Ephraim Mwangi Maina, a senatorial candidate who lost in the last General Election,” he told the full House under Speaker Ekwee Ethuro.

“The first meeting was held on April 22 at Green Hills Hotel to plan how I would be left out in the leadership of the proposed Jubilee merger and to discredit my performance,” he said.

Mr Maina lost the Nyeri senatorial race to Senator Mutahi Kagwe in 2013 and plans to challenge Mr Gachagua in the 2017 polls.

The county boss said the subsequent three meetings were held at Mr Maina’s home on April 28, May 30 and July 9, each taking the agenda forward.

Plan a boycott

According to Mr Gachagua, the agenda of the second meeting was to review the first meeting as well as plan a boycott on the governor’s state of the county address. He added that the third meeting planned how to paralyse operations of the county government by rejecting the proposed 2016/17 budget while the fourth crafted the plot to impeach him.

Mr Gachagua said in support of his claims, he had a sworn affidavit by one of the MCAs, John Njuguna Wambugu, who attended all the meetings.
In their presentation before Senate, the County Assembly, through lawyers Charles Njenga and George Ng’ang’a, maintained there were sufficient grounds for the county boss to be removed from office.

“The charges that are before you are grave, they are gross and they are weighty. There was non-disclosure of funds expended by the county executive. It is a legal obligation that enjoins the county executive to make a full and frank disclosure of all expenditure in the period under review. Why was it not disclosed?” posed Mr Njenga.

In a two-hour afternoon session, the lawyers presented evidence for each of the three accusations levelled against Mr Gachagua including abuse of office, gross violation of the Constitution and breach of law.

Mr Ng’ang’a noted that all county chief officers were on an acting capacity which he said went against the County Government Act.

“What justification can there be? That there is no one in Nyeri county that deserves a substantive appointment? That is an insult,” he told the House.

The governor’s lawyer Peter Wanyama will today present his case as Mr Gachagua attempts to water down the accusations before the Senate takes a vote.
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