Stay mum on Gachagua case outside House, orders Ethuro
Speaker wants all senators present during televised plenary hearings next week. Governor to know his future after three days
Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro yesterday directed senators not to comment outside the House on the impeachment hearings on embattled Governor Nderitu Gachagua.
He said the Senate will hold televised plenary sessions on the issue for three days, from Tuesday to Thursday next week. He then will present the verdict.
Last Thursday, 32 out of 46 Nyeri MCAs voted to impeach Gachagua. They accused him of abuse of office and gross violation of the Constitution in procurement and corruption.
This is the first time since its inception in 2013 the Senate has held an impeachment hearing involving the full chamber not a committee.
Ethuro will chair the hearings. On Wednesday, 18 senators against seven voted to reject the formation of a special committee to investigate the impeachment vote by the Nyeri county assembly. Instead, they opted for the plenary hearings.
Ethuro told the House the hearing shall be on camera. Prior to voting on the charges on Thursday afternoon, senators will deliberate in camera.
After the session, they will reassemble in the plenary and vote on each of the charges. The voting shall be by county delegations.
In this regard, elected senators will vote, but if absent, nominated senators from the county will vote.
“Prior to commencement of the hearings on Tuesday, the Senate shall meet in a pre-hearing in camera briefing session. It shall thereafter conduct the hearing. This will consist of hearing the case by the county assembly and the response of the governor,” Ethuro said.
“The governor shall cease to hold office if majority of all the county delegations of the senate vote to uphold any impeachment charge. If the charges are not substantiated, he will remain in office.”
The senators will meet on Tuesday morning to set the rules on the number of questions each senator can ask.
This will help them determine the quorum of the House, the amount of time each senator is allocated to speak and if decision to uphold a charge or not shall be in writing.
“For avoidance of doubt, the rules of the Senate when sitting in plenary shall apply, with modifications the speaker will find necessary,” he said.
Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, minority leader Moses Wetang’ula and majority leader Kithure Kindiki on Wednesday