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All Senators to decide Sonko’s fate after impeachment

By Ibrahim Oruko December 9th, 2020 2 min read

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has suspended the process to establish an 11-member team to investigate Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko after the Leader of Majority, Samuel Poghisio, refused to move the motion that could have established the committee.

The Speaker had communicated to the House the decision by the Nairobi County Assembly to impeach the governor, going further to read the charges against the governor to an attentive House.

However, when the time came for Mr Poghisio to give notice for the formation of the committee, he walked to the dispatch box and declared he was not moving it.

“For the convenience of the House, I propose that you skip that order,” Mr Poghisio said, his voice barely audible.

It was a surprise move because the Senate Business Committee (SBC), an organ of the House that schedules the business of the Senate, had in its meeting on Tuesday resolved to form the team to hear charges against the governor and determine whether they are substantiated.

In his ruling, the Speaker invoked Standing Orders Number 56 and 59, which allow the sponsor of the motion to either withdraw it or give the SBC an opportunity to reschedule the motion to a later date.

Using his discretion, he opted to reschedule the motion, telling the House he will gazette Thursday December 17 and Friday 18 as the dates within which the governor will be tried by the whole House.

“I will gazette the two dates when the hearing of the charges against the governor will be conducted,” said Mr Lusaka.

The accusations

Sonko is facing charges related to violation of the Constitution, abuse of office and gross misconduct.

In the particulars submitted to the House, MCAs allege the county boss has abused his office by violating Article 75 of the Constitution as read together with Section 11 and 13 of the Leadership and Integrity Act on the conduct of State officers, where Sonko has allegedly persistently intimidated and harassed officers of the County Executive.

They claim the governor has blackmailed his CECs and Chief Officers with one-year contracts, whose renewal he has undertaken arbitrarily, leaving them jittery about the status of their employment and creating a climate of fear and uncertainty.

They also accuse Sonko of abusing his office by violating Article 75 of the Constitution as read together with Section 16 of the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012 by unlawfully using public funds to pay for his daughter’s travel to New York to allegedly attend the County First Lady’s Conference, held during the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women 2018.