Impeached Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has been dealt a blow after the High Court declined to issue orders stopping the planned swearing-in of Deputy Governor James Nyoro as County boss.
In his ruling, Justice Weldon Korir stated that granting such orders would be overstepping the court’s mandate.
“The act of a judge swearing in of a governor is deemed to be a judicial function. This court will be overstepping its mandate by ordering the judge not to proceed with the swearing-in. In the circumstances, order cannot be issued, ” said Justice Korir.
He directed that the matter be heard inter-parte on Monday, February 3. The matter will be before judge James Makau.
Nyoro’s swearing-in is scheduled for today.
The ceremony was postponed yesterday after presiding judge John Onyiego failed to turn up despite preparations in anticipation of the function.
Justice Onyiego later issued a statement detailing reasons why he could not preside over the event.
He noted that the county committee on assumption of governor’s office had not followed the law regarding the exercise.
The judge stated that the committee had not complied with Section 11(1) of the Act which requires publication and notification of the swearing-in ceremony in the Kenya Gazette and the County Gazette stating the time, date and place of the ceremony.
“It is those Gazette Notices that grant the power to swear in the Deputy Governor in such situation, ” he said.
Waititu was impeached on Wednesday on grounds of gross misconduct, abuse of office and corruption. He later filed an application to challenge the senate decision to uphold his impeachment by Kiambu county representatives.
A total of 38 senators participated in the process with 28 voting to remove Waititu from office. The majority of the lawmakers are those who support the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga.
At least 11 senators, a majority being leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto’s Tanga Tanga team, opposed Waititu’s impeachment.
In the first count of violating the Constitution, 27 senators voted to impeach the governor while 12 opposed the move.
In the charge of violating national laws, 28 senators voted for his removal from office while 11 opposed it. The voting pattern was repeated in the third count of gross misconduct.
Only a simple majority of 24 senators was required to vote and pass the ouster motion.
Waititu is out on bail after he was charged with several counts of graft in July over Ksh588 million irregular tender.
Waititu, his wife Susan Ndung’u and several other people are accused of irregular procurement of a tender for the upgrading of various gravel roads to bituminous surface in Kiambu County.