Samboja survives impeachment as senators recommend mediation, reconciliation between county leadership

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Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja Thursday survived impeachment after the Senate cleared him of all the charges made against him by Members of the County Assembly.

The 11-member chaired by Embu Senate Njeru Ndwiga dismissed the charges leveled against the governor saying that it does not meet the constitutional threshold for impeachment.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka announced that Senate committee absolved him of all the six charges, allowing him to continue serving as Governor of Taita Taveta County.

He ruled that there will be no further debate or vote taken.

Senators James Orengo, Kipchumba Murkomen and Moses Wetangula said some of the issues raised can be addressed through mediation since they do not amount to the extreme consequence of impeaching the governor.

The Ndwiga-led committee also said the other charges – misappropriation of funds contrary to Section 196 of the Public Finance Management Act (2012) and failure to submit to the county assembly an annual report on the implementation status of the county policies and plans as required by section 30 (2)(j) of the County Governments Act (2012) – had not been proved as required by the law.

In absolving the embattled governor, the senators also called upon their Taita-Taveta counterpart Jones Mwaruma to lead reconciliation efforts in the county.

“The Senator further urges the Senator of Taita-Taveta county, in exercise of his mandate under article 96 (1) of the Constitution, to take a lead role to bring together the Governor and the County Assembly of Taita-Taveta county,” said the ad-hoc committee in its 100-page report.

The Senate team dismissed charges including failure to deliver the annual state of the county address as required by Section 30(2)(k) of the County Governments Act, 2012, failure to remit statutory deductions to the relevant institutions, including the Kenya Revenue Authority, the National Hospital Insurance Fund and the National Social Security Fund contrary to the Income Tax Act, CAP 470, the National Hospital Insurance Fund Act, CAP 255 and the National Social Security Fund Act, CAP 258 Laws of Kenya.

Allegations of misleading the people of Taita/Taveta County contrary to section 19 of the Public Officer Ethics Act, CAP 183 Laws of Kenya as read with Article 73 and 260 of the Constitution of Kenya were also dropped.

The MCAs also listed misleading the members of TaitaTaveta County Assembly contrary to Section 19 of the Public Officer Ethics Act, Cap 183 laws of Kenya as read with Article 260 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and gross misconduct as allegations that led to his ouster.