Senate committee suspends inquiry into Makueni disputes
13 October 2014, 22:55
Nairobi – The Senate committee on Devolved Government has suspended its planned meeting with the Makueni County leadership to inquire into disputes between Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Members of County Assembly (MCAs).
The committee chair, Kipchumba Murkomen said the meeting scheduled for October 14th to 16th has been postponed for the Senate to convene a special sitting in setting up a special committee to investigate into Kibwana’s impeachment claims following the MCAs’ last week’s decision.
Murkomen said they are waiting upon the Senate Speaker, Ekwe Ethuro to recall the House for the sitting within seven days to set up a special committee of 11 members to start the investigation into the impeachment.
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“The Makueni County Assembly and County Executive had accepted to meet the Senate to discuss their disputes starting this Tuesday 14th to Thursday 16th but we have suspended the meeting after the MCAs went ahead to impeach the governor,” said Murkomen.
“The impeachment of Governor Kibwana does not mean he is not in office until the Senate concludes the investigations into his impeachment and decision made. Senate will not take sides in investigating the impeached governor for fairness and justice to be granted,” he added.
Regarding controversial court injunctions blocking governors from honoring the Senate summonses on accountability, Murkomen who is also the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator, said the Judiciary is breaking the law by contravening the House from carrying out its constitutional duties.
The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator added that the “ridiculous court injunctions” in favor of governors undermines good leadership for county governments and hinders citizens from enjoying the fruits of devolution.
“The Judiciary should respect other institutions of government especially when it comes to accountability. It should not be a gatekeeper for thieves, the corrupt and irresponsible people but be passionate in applying the rule of law,” said Murkomen.
He further said the Judiciary is being used by the governors to delay the Senate from its carrying out the process of accountability enshrined in the Constitution.
“Some judges are making ridiculous rulings in interpreting the law. Is it the incompetence of judges, improper Judiciary reforms or corruption making our courts to give such ridiculous injunctions?” posed Murkomen.
The Busia Senator, Amos Wako who is also the committee’s member the Judiciary’s issuance of injunctions puts the Senate in a situation where it can not beat the constitutional timelines in carrying out its duties.
“With the issuance of court injunctions like the current situation in Makueni, do we obey the court ruling and break the law or obey the law to break the court ruling?” posed Wako.
The Mandera Senator, Billow Kerrow, said the Constitution provides the processes of mediation, arbitration and negotiation in resolving leadership disputes hence cautioned the Judiciary against interfering with the Senate’s legal reconciliatory process of county disputes.
“It is offensive for somebody to run to court in resolving disputes without exhausting the dialogue process. The issued court injunctions undermine the mediation process into disputes,” said Kerrow.
The Senators were speaking at a press conference where they hinted that the suspension of the meeting paves way for the Senate committee to look into the Isiolo County situation which has almost similar leadership disputes to that of Makueni County.
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