Court: MCAs have no impeachment powers
08 October 2014, 13:20
Bungoma - Members of the County assemblies across the country have no powers to impeach County Executive members, the Bungoma High Court has ruled.
While delivering judgement in a case where Bungoma Roads CEC, Stephen Nendela, had gone to court for a constitutional interpretation following his impeachment by the County Assembly, Judge Alfred Mabeya held that constitutionally, no County Assembly can purport to remove a County Executive member.
“Parliament should enact a law that provides for a separate, independent, impartial and unbiased body that will be charged with the jurisdiction of carrying out investigations once a motion is passed by a County Assembly,” said Mabeya in his ruling.
Mabeya said County assemblies could not give such accused afair hearing because they were partisan and are the ones who craft the charges against the accused.
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Mabeya further ruled that the Bungoma County Assembly violated the Constitution and Nendela’s rights, and said that their actions were null and void.
The MCAs had accused Nendela of incompetence, gross misconduct, failure to submit quarterly reports to the county, failure to develop and submit for approval an infrastructural policy.
Nendela in his defence had however accused the MCAs of trying to arm twist him to give them the money for roads development.
In his ruling, Mabeya said the Mcas cannot purport or lay claim on control of such developments as this was purely the role of the Executive.
“The fundamental principal of separation of powers should be strongly upheld as voted by Kenyans in the constitution,” said Mabeya.
Mabeya further warned MCAs against denying the accused a fair hearing saying it was against the fundamental principal of natural justice.
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Mabeya objected an application by the Assembly that was questing whether the court had powers to listen to the matters already discussed in the Assemblies.
The judge ruled that the Court had those powers and told MCAs to ensure that whatever is discussed in the Assembly is in tandem with the Constitution.
Speaking after the ruling, Nendela’s lawyer Wasilwa Makhakara termed the ruling a landmark ruling that will stop MCAs from being bullies.
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