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Monday, December 6, 2021

Ex-Wajir governor attends CoG meeting days after impeachment

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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Former Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mahamud attended the Council of Governors meeting on Friday, in what is believed to be part of his plan to challenge his impeachment.

According to reports, the governor was invited to give his side of the story following his impeachment, which the Council called political witch-hunt.

The case is already in court, with Meru High Court Judge Patrick Otieno stopping Wajir Deputy Governor Muktar Ali from taking office.

In his verdict, Justice Otieno asserted that Muktar should not take office until the petition filed by former Governor Mohamed Abdi is heard and decided.

A day after a Senate special session upheld his impeachment, the embattled Governor had filed a petition with the Court challenging his removal from office.

According to Lawyer Ndegwa Njiru, the entire process has been halted, and Mohamed Abdi remains the county chief.

The Friday meeting was also attended by his successor Muktar, who appeared virtually.

In a statement to the press on Wednesday, Council of Governors Chairperson Martin Wambora had accused the Senate of a political witch hunt.

“The Council strongly faults the whole process on the following grounds: the senate Lowering the standard of proof and the threshold on impeachment matters and thus exposing the Counties to Political upheavals,” the statement reads. ” For example, in the Kirinyaga case, the Senate acquitted the Governor who has been charged of similar violations.”

The Council had disparaged the process, claiming that the Senate disobeyed court orders prohibiting the County Assembly and Senate from discussing the impeachment motion.

On Friday, the Governors, who saw malice in the ouster, reiterated that the process was illegal, citing the Assumption of Office Act, which they claim was not followed properly.

The council claimed that the governor was not given the required seven days to take into account his options before his deputy, Ahmed Ali Muktar, was sworn in as the third governor of Wajir County on Tuesday.

Mohamud’s impeachment trial was held by an 11-member Committee which submitted to the Senate an 144-page report recommending his removal.

25 Senators out of 47 upheld the impeachment of the Governor by the County Assembly, surpassing the required threshold of a simple majority of 24 votes. Two Senators opposed the impeachment while four abstained the vote.

The Wajir County Assembly alleged that the governor “had caused the health sector to run into disarray that had compromised right to the highest attainable health standards; and also that, “over Ksh.2.4 billion had been allocated to the department of medical service but the county referral hospital lab could not conduct COVID-19 tests due to faulty test kits and lack of reagents. ”

In his defense, the governor denied that healthcare in Wajir had suffered under his leadership, adding that the allegations levelled against him do not meet the threshold of impeachment.

“The main impeachment is said to be gross violation of the constitution by not providing adequate health facilities…according to me…, we have provided enough… I could be impeached for violation of the constitution, but it cannot be for gross misconduct,” the Governor told the Senate on Monday.

The Wajir governor is the 9th county boss to face impeachment since the promulgation of the new constitution with two of his colleagues namely Mike Sonko and Ferdinand Waititu removed from office for gross misconduct.

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