Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja has survived an impeachment attempt by the County’s ward representatives.
The Senate committee that was formulated to probe the decision by the Members of County Assembly (MCAs) dismissed the impeachment saying allegations raised against the governor were not substantiated.
30 MCAs on October 9 unanimously voted in favour of a special motion moved by Rong’e MCA Harris Keke after a four-hour debate over alleged gross misconduct.
Issues said to have led to Samboja’s impeachment include failure to submit to the county assembly an annual report on the implementation status of the county policies and plans, misappropriation of funds as well as misleading the people of Taita Taveta in dissolving the county.
The ward representatives also accused Samboja of failing to remit statutory deductions of the relevant institutions including Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF) among others.
The impeachment followed a protracted row between Samboja and the ward reps over the 2019-20 budget.
The governor had declined to approve the budget after the MCAs slashed the executive’s allocations and instead directed the money – Ksh833 million – to the ward development fund.
On Tuesday the governor failed to appear before the senate committee and instead sent his lawyer Nelson Havi.
Havi defended the governor saying he was not in a position to appear before the committee. He produced a court order barring the committee from discussing the matter.
The Committee chairman Njeru Ndwiga, however, over-ruled and allowed the senators to discuss the governor’s impeachment.
The Deputy County Speaker Kithure Kindiki cited that the Judiciary was in no position to interfere with parliament matters, and ordered the report to be tabled within 10 days in the House.
The County assembly was represented by lawyer Charles Njenga in the proceedings.