• The court ruled that governors charged with corruption should stay away from office and their roles completely taken over by their deputies for the duration of the trial.
• Murkomen says by end of the year all 47 governors will end up in Court with such a decision.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has laughed off a decision by the Judiciary that has called for governors mentioned in graft cases to step aside.
Murkomen, who doubles as majority leader in the Senate, on his Twitter account on Friday said deputy governors will take advantage of the decision to plot ills against their bosses with an intent to take over.
“It seems by the end of the year all the 47 Governors will have been charged in court. Going by the decision of Justice Mumbi Ngugi it is the greatest time to be a Deputy Governor. You just fix your boss and voila you take over. Being DG in Kenya is not bad after all,” read the tweet.
On Wednesday the High Court dealt a blow to governors facing graft charges in a landmark ruling that will make corruption an expensive affair.
The court ruled that governors charged with corruption should stay away from office and their roles completely taken over by their deputies for the duration of the trial.
Like other civil servants, Justice Mumbi Ngugi ruled, governors should step aside once charged for a criminal offence and declared section of the law protecting them unconstitutional.
She termed Section 62(6) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act which state officers have been using to hang onto office as “entrenching corruption and impunity in the land”.
“It seems to me that Section 62(6) apart from obfuscating…are contrary to the constitutional requirements of integrity in governance, are against the national values and principals of governance and principles of leadership and integrity in Chapter Six,”Ngungi ruled.
Criminal trials take years to conclude.
This means, a governor suspended from office can easily spend his or her entire tenure in the cold, waiting for conclusion of the case.
The verdict is a shocker for county chiefs, coming at a time when the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is hunting down several governors with some already in court.
Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu is on EACC’s radar over irregular award of tender that saw the county lose Sh588 million.
Migori Governor Okoth Obado has been charged with the murder of university student Sharon Otieno and his trial is ongoing.
Others on the EACC radar include Tharaka Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki and Kitui’s Charity Ngilu.