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

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics General - GIDEON KETER @ArapGKeter

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.

/HEZRON NJOROGE

Se­na­tor Kipchumba Murkomen, mi­nor­ity leader Moses We­tang’ula and ma­jor­ity leader Kithure Kindiki on Wed­nes­day

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