The Council of Governors (CoG) criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta’ war on graft following the arrest of their Busia counterpart Sospeter Ojammong. The council, opposed the arrest and trial of County chiefs. “The county chiefs must not be arrested while in office to avoid cricis of the devolved units they lead”.
On Monday, July 9, Makueni senetor Honerable Mutula Kilonzo junior criticised the council of governors following their opposition for arrest and trial. “It is wishful thinking by governors to seek such immunity. Even the Deputy President does not enjoy the power given to the president by Articles 141, 142, 143 and 131 of the Constitution of Kenya. County chiefs should have read the constitution before vying for office,” said Mutula.
“The president doesn’t share sovereign powers and that is why only him is the unity of symbol. He represents the sovereignty and stability of the country. It is wishful and fallacious for governors to seek for immunity in civil and criminal proceedings like the Head of State. We can only have one president at a time,” he reiterated.
The legislator was categorical that only Uhuru enjoyed some privileges which governors asserted they too enjoyed or shared with the presidency. He said the privileges cited by governors were clear cut in the supreme law and could not be twisted to suit interests of the CoG.
“You are not immune. You are not the Heads of State but heads of county governments thus not equivalents of the president and cannot enjoy some special privileges he enjoys. We have one president, one Commander in Chief. Even in a coalition government arrangement, he doesn’t share that power,” explained Mutula.
Mutula’s sentiments were echoed by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen who said it was impossible for governors to overturn the constitution in their favour.
“I totally agree with Council of Governors that the fight against corruption must be done within the law. But devolution is under attack by corruption and not enforcement.Immunity for governors? Never. The grant of bail must be guaranteed to all suspects but no sacred cows,” Murkomen emphasized.
According to the senator, even the courts had ruled against governors’ application to be shielded from Senate sermons because the constitution does not grant them the powers they claim protected them.