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Senate rejects Kiambu Governor Waititu's bid to table new evidence

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu before the Senate
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu before the Senate on January 28, 2020 during the hearing of his impeachment. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG 

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has suffered a major blow after the Senate rejected his bid to introduce new evidence to fight impeachment proceedings that is currently underway in Parliament.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka ruled that Mr Waititu cannot be allowed to tender fresh evidence after the stipulated period lapsed.

Mr Waititu wanted to be allowed to provide additional documents, including a list of the members of the county assembly who voted to impeach him.

The county boss had claimed that Kiambu County Assembly did not disclose material documents to the Senate when it filed charges following his impeachment on December 19, 2019.

The Senate was forced to adjourn for a closed session for 30 minutes to deliberate on Mr Waititu’s request but when the House reconvened, Mr Lusaka ruled that the governor will not be allowed to file documents.

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Mr Waititu had three days to file all his defences and responses after the Kiambu County Assembly filed impeachment charges in the Senate.

“Mr Waititu’s preliminary application has not been allowed and has been denied.

“I rule that the governor should put his defence limited to evidence filed by county assembly and issues that arose in cross examination.

“The parties shall make closing statements and Senate will retire to a closed session and thereafter make its decision,” Mr Lusaka ruled.

'NOT IMPEACHED'

He allocated the governor four hours to make his case against the impeachment charges.

The county boss was impeached by 63 MCAs who voted in support of Ndenderu MCA Solomon Kinuthia motion that accused Mr Waititu of abetting corruption, conflict of interest, claiming the governor’s family was doing business with the county, and over-budgeting in the roads department for kick-backs.

“The governor pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him.

“This means the burden shifts to the county assembly to demonstrate before the Senate that Mr Waititu should be impeached,” Mbugua Ng'ang'a, Mr Waititu's lawyer, told the full plenary of the Senate that is hearing the impeachment charges.

He claimed Mr Waititu was not impeached at the floor of the county assembly and therefore the charges against him should be dismissed.

“It is our submission that the Senate should call for the CCTV footage to proof that the Kiambu governor was not impeached by the county assembly but elsewhere,” Mr Ng'ang'a said.

He also asked the Senate to investigate whether the governor was allowed to defend himself in the county assembly, citing that the threshold to impeach Mr Waititu was not met as stipulated in law.

“The two-thirds of members threshold to impeach the governor should be ascertained. It behoves this House to investigate whether the number threshold to impeach Mr Waititu at the county assembly was met. You have capacity to summon the Clerk and the Speaker and call for the logs for the vote to ascertain its integrity.

Mr Waititu has denied all charges levelled against him by the Kiambu MCAs.

The Senate on Tuesday commenced a two-day special sitting to investigate the validity of the charges that led to Mr Waititu’s impeachment.

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