Besieged Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko can now breathe easy after the High Court temporary suspended his planned impeachment.
In an order issued on Tuesday, Justice Nzioki Makau of the Employment and Labour Relations Court barred Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) from debating the impeachment motion against the governor pending inter parties hearing of his petition set for Thursday.
The impeachment motion was filed on Thursday last week.
Minority Leader Michael Ogada, who moved the notice of impeachment, said 86 out of 122 members had appended signatures in support of the motion.
The MCAs want the governor kicked out of office on grounds of among others gross violation of the Constitution, graft and abuse of office.
Word has it that the governor’s refusal to assent the bill on Ksh37.5 billion 2020-21 budget that gives Ksh27.3 billion to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is one of the main reasons the MCAs want him removed from office.
But Sonko, through his lawyer, Harrison Kinyanjui, recently accused county assembly speaker Benson Mutura of contempt of court for allowing Ogada to table the motion.
According to Sonko, the speaker should not have suspended the previous motion that was tabled by Makongeni MCA Peter Imwatok since the matter is already in court.
“By your purporting to process a fresh impeachment Motion against Mike Sonko Mbuvi while these proceedings are pending, you have committed an act of intentional disrespect to these judicial proceedings in breach of Section 36 of the High Court Act, 2015, which constitutes contempt of court,” the lawyer said in a letter dated November 27.
Kinyanjui added: “Since you have submitted yourself to the authority of the High Court in the cited petition as the forums convenes to inquire into the legality of the purported impeachment Motion by Imwatok, the rule of subjudice equally binds you not to do any act that constitutes a breach of the High Court’s administration of justice as you have now done by means of this fresh Motion by Michael Ogada over the purported impeachment of the Governor.”
Last week, Mutura suspended Imwatok’s motion as it was not debated within the stipulated two weeks, paving way for minority leader, Ogada’s motion.
Kinyanjui argues that the speaker had no power to suspend the motion which is actively before a court and will be coming up for mention on December 3.