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Impeachment: Senate defeats Murkomen’s motion over Waititu

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The Senate shot down a motion tabled by Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen for the establishment of an 11-member Special Committee to handle the impeachment of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

The motion was shot down by 28 Senators to subject the embattled governor into facing the whole Senate.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka is set to gazette a fresh date when the plenary proceedings will be conducted following the rejection of the motion.

The motion was moved on Tuesday by the Majority Leader and seconded by Minority Leader James Orengo, but was heavily defeated when it was subjected to a vote questioning the objectivity of the proposed committee.

Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio and Farhiya Ali (Nominated) opposed the establishment of the select committee saying Murkomen had left out the Kieleweke faction of the Jubilee Party and ensured that all six nominees from the ruling party were those who are known to leaning towards the Tanga-Tanga wing which is supportive of Deputy President William Ruto, to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta when his term ends in 2022.

The Senate was forced to take a 10-minute adjournment in order to allow for consultations which Murkomen said would allow the House to build consensus on the list and move together.

Attempts by Orengo, Irungu Kangata (Murang’a)and Moses Wetangula (Bungoma) to convince Murkomen to withdraw the list and have the Senate Plenary handle the matter fell on deaf ears as the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator remained adamant.

The senators were recalled from the long December recess for a special sitting to decide on how to proceed with the matter.
The Standing Orders allow the Senate both options and in the past four impeachment proposals, they have preferred a committee to first deal the matter, before tabling a report in the House.

Waititu was last month ousted by 63 Kiambu MCAs who cited three grounds for their action. They accused him of corruption, gross misconduct and misuse of his office.

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Politics

Sonko Charged afresh in Corruption Case

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has been charged afresh in the Ksh.357 million graft case against him.

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020 the prosecution substituted an earlier charge sheet with a new one.

In the new charge sheet, the prosecution removed three names of accused persons and one company – Danson Muchemi, Zablon Onyango and Webtribe Limited – thereby leaving Sonko and three others in the case.

Sonko, in count one, is charged of conspiring to commit an offence of corruption and dealing with suspect property in the sum of over Ksh.14 million in respect of a contract alongside Fredrick Odhiambo alias Fred Oyugi, ROG Security Limited and Antony Otieno Ombok alias Jamal.

Sonko is also charged with another count of conflict of interest where he is alleged to have received Ksh.8.4 million from Fredrick Odhiambo alias Fred Oyugi, T/A Yiro Enterprises, through ROG Security Limited.

The prosecution indicated witnesses that there are some witnesses who will be put under witness protection and urged the court to use pseudo names in their statements and give evidence in a closed-door session.

However, the defence team objected and urged the prosecution to make a formal application and argue it.

The case will be mentioned on February 26 for pre-trial hearing.

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High Court Bars Vetting of Deputy Governor Nominee Anne Mwenda

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The High Court has barred the Nairobi County Assembly from vetting Deputy Governor nominee Anne Mwenda.

In a ruling delivered on Monday, the court suspended the vetting pending the hearing and determination of a petition filed by a Nairobi resident identified as peter Agoro.

The vetting exercise had been scheduled for Tuesday, February 18, as the assembly resumes its sittings.

Embattled Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko nominated Ms Mwenda last month.

Prior to the nomination, Ms Mwenda served as the county Disaster Management and Coordination Chief Officer.

She was cleared and her name submitted to the assembly for vetting by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on February 11, 2020.

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Kenyan Envoy to South Sudan is Dead

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Kenya’s ambassador to South Sudan, Chris Karumba Mburu has died of a heart attack.

The ambassador’s family broke the news on Monday morning without disclosing further details of the death.

Amb. Karumba previously served as the National Intelligence Service (NIS) director.

The death comes soon after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs lost another staff member, Ms Vivian Talash Ntimama.

Vivian died while abroad on January 31, 2020 and was buried in Kenya on February 16.

She was eulogized as “a patriot and a devoted civil servant who dedicated herself to the service of our country and its people”.

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