The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling by High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi that barred governors facing graft charges from accessing their duty stations.
While pronouncing the decision of a three-judge bench, Justice Jamilla Mohamed noted that elected leaders cannot continue holding office when they have pending corruption cases.
Justice Jamila Mohammed read the judgement on behalf of Judges David Musinga, Steven Gatembu and Agnes Murgor.
She observed that locking governors out of office does not amount to the removal of governors from office but was only a deterrent.
Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153
Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko, his Kiambu counterpart Ferdinand Waititu and Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal will continue to stay away from office.
The Samburu Governor had sort redress after High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi in a ruling On July 24th this year barred elected leaders charged with graft from accessing their offices.
Justice Mohamed cited Chapter 6 on Leadership and Integrity saying that in releasing a governor in a criminal case, conditions must be imposed that protect the public interest.
“What message does it send to the citizens if their leaders are charged with serious corruption offences and are in office the following day, overseeing the affairs of the institution?” she said.
She also noted that there are incidents where crucial documents had disappeared after officers charged with economic crimes were allowed access to their offices.
Section 62 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act of 2003 suspends public officers charged with corruption pending hearing and determination of their cases.
Subsequently, Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi adopted the finding of Justice Mumbi Ngugi when he ruled on the Governor Ferdinand Waititu case.
“How effective will prosecution of such state officers is when their subordinates are under control of indicted officers?” Magistrate Mugambi posed, adding: “The first accused shall not access his office until this case is heard and determined.”
Tell Us What You Think