In a lightning move, the Speaker of the Senate Kenneth Lusaka gazetted the impeachment and removal from office of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu Babayao hours after the House passed a motion to that effect.
The gazetting also cleared for another equally swift move — the swearing of Deputy Governor James Nyoro. High Court Judge John Onyiego is expected to swear in Mr. Nyoro anytime from now.
Twenty-eight Senators voted to end Waititu’s reign as governor after 27 months, in a vote that exposed the partisan positions influenced by the handshake. Pro-handshake senators allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga ganged up against those in Deputy President William Ruto’s camp, who opposed Waititu’s impeachment.
The Senators who backed Waititu’s removal from office termed his defense casual, as he failed to adduce any evidence to rebut allegations by the county assembly. Waititu has the option of moving to the High Court on procedural grounds.
He argues the Kiambu County assembly did not have the requisite two-thirds majority to impeach him. He also argued that the Senate proceedings were outside the stipulated time frame.
Waititu was accused of abuse of office by influencing award of lucrative tenders to his wife and daughters, dispossessing a widow of prime land in Thika, which he was accused of allocating to his other wife, violation of the constitution and subsidiary laws, irregular hiring of 600 casuals as well as violating budget ceilings by spending Sh2.1billion against approved Sh1.4 billion for tarmacking roads.