In Summary
  • At some point, Siaya Senator James Orengo asked for a time out to have the House leadership reconsider the list.

  • According to Senate Standing Order 175, the impeachment ends at the committee level if it determines that the charges do not merit.

  • Mr Kang’ata wondered why the committee did not have a representative from the Central Kenya region.

The supremacy wars in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party played out in the Senate Tuesday after a motion to establish an 11-member select committee to hear impeachment charges against Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was defeated in favour of a whole plenary.

This left Senate Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo-Marakwet), who was pushing for the establishment of a special committee, with egg on the face.

QUESTION RAISED

Questions were raised on the composition of the committee that was to be chaired by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala with his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika as deputy.

A section of the Jubilee party senators allied to the Tangatanga wing pushed for the formation of a committee.

However, when the matter was put to vote, those from Kieleweke side that is allied to the President ganged up with their Nasa colleagues in favour of the plenary.

The House had 44 senators at the time the matter was put to vote with 28 senators voting in favour of the plenary, while 16 supported the formation of a special committee.

Interestingly, Mr Malala voted against the establishment of the committee despite being proposed as chairperson.

Governor Waititu was impeached by Members of the Kiambu County Assembly on December 19, 2019, for gross violation of the Constitution, the County Government Act, the Public Finance Management Act and abuse of office and gross misconduct.

INDEPENDENCE

Some senators said the committee membership did not possess the requisite independence to come up with a fair verdict on the charges.

They argued that the membership of the committee was disproportionately formed in favour of the Tangatanga group.

Senators James Orengo (Siaya), Prof Sam Ongeri (Kisii), Samuel Poghisio (West Pokot), Kimani Wa Matangi (Kiambu), Isaac Mwaura (nominated), Farhiya Ali (nominated), Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Ali (Wajir), Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a) and Abshiro Wako (nominated) felt that the impeachment be heard by the plenary of the Senate.

At some point, Mr Orengo requested for a timeout to have the House leadership reconsider the list.

“Let us adjourn debate for 10 minutes so that we agree on the list. What is going on could be tantamount to blocking people from expressing their views. Let’s not proceed as a divided House. I am persuaded by the views expressed by members,” Mr Orengo said and proceeded to vote in negative when the matter was put to vote.

However, when the leadership emerged from the consultation, it proceeded as if nothing happened.

“Let us have the whole plenary consider this matter and have at least 24 leaders of delegation determine the matter as opposed to the committee whose verdict will only be determined by six members,” Mr Sakaja said.

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