Senators ask Maraga to stop court abuse of injunctions in impeachment matters

By Hillary Mageka On Mon, 28 Oct, 2019 12:22 | 2 mins read
Senate Kitui
Senators during one of their Mashinani sessions in Kitui County. PHOTO | HILLARY MAGEKA | PD

Senators now wants Chief Justice David Maraga to intervene and instruct his judicial officers to stop issuing court injunctions against county assemblies, the Senate, National Assembly or any of the houses’ committees.

This is after a special Senate committee was ordered last week to stop considering the impeachment of Governor Granton Samboja by Taita Taveta County Assembly.

Similar orders were obtained by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua in restraining the Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai from enforcing orders by Senate County Public Accounts Committee (CPAIC).

The committee chaired by Homa bay Senator Moses Kajwang’ had issued an arrest a warrant against Governor Mutua for his refusal to honour summons to answer audit queries.

The House team invoked Section 19 of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act that grants it the powers of the High Court to order the arrest of any witness, who has severally snubbed their invites and summons.

Led by Senators Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni), Sam Ongeri (Kisii) and Moses Kajwang’ (Homabay), the lawmakers claim that the Judiciary is exceeding its jurisdiction in attempting to stop Parliament from undertaking its constitutional mandate.

Besides, the senators accuse the court of disregarding the doctrine of separation of powers between the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive.

“If there is something that the Chief Justice David Maraga can do, he ought to inform his officers in some form of circular or otherwise that we are not averse to the idea of respecting the Judiciary, but they should wait for us in a case like this one where we have been given jurisdiction that nobody has. Powers to impeach a governor or not is given only to the Senate,” Mutula claimed.

“We are the only trial Chamber. It is, therefore, contemplated under the law that the county assemblies will make mistakes. Those mistakes are supposed to be corrected here (the Senate) and not in the High Court,” he added.

For instance, the lawmakers allege in county assemblies there is an existent legal quagmire as they are confronted with numerous court interferences and injunctions by witnesses.

Some orders, according to Kajwang, are sought to stop the county assemblies from doing a duty bestowed on them by the constitution.

The Homa Bay Senator noted county assemblies have been stopped by the courts of law from impeaching County Executive Committee (CEC) members as a result of a ruling that was made by the High Court in Bungoma County.

“To date, there is no single county that has successfully impeached a County Executive Committee Member (CECM). County assemblies cannot impeach CECs or summon a governor to appear before the committees of the county assembly,” said Kajwang’, who is also the chairman of CPAIC.

He held: “Neither can the Speakers of the assemblies be impeached. This is because they run to courts who issue injunctions.”

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