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Blow to linturi as prob team admits new evidence and witness

Blow to linturi as prob team admits new evidence and witness

The Bumula MP believes PS and Devesh hold incriminating evidence that will sink Linturi

Bumula MP Wamboka Wanami at the National Assembly during the impeachment pre-trial of CS Mithika Linturi on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at Parliament Buildings.
Bumula MP Wamboka Wanami at the National Assembly during the impeachment pre-trial of CS Mithika Linturi on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at Parliament Buildings. Image: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY/X

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi was on Wednesday dealt a major blow after a select committee allowed for introduction of new evidence in his removal bid.

Linturi is facing impeachment over his alleged role in the fake fertiliser saga.

The National Assembly Select Committee on his impeachment ruled  they will allow any fresh evidence that will aid the mover of the motion in establishing the case.

The team also ruled in favour of the mover, Jack Wamboka, to have Agriculture Principal Secretary Paul Rono and Kel Chemicals chief operations officer Devesh Patel testify in the case

Wamboka, the MP for Bumula, believes both the PS and Devesh hold incriminating evidence that will sink Linturi in the ongoing probe.

The embattled CS is faulted for his alleged directive to Kel Chemicals, the company accused of distributing fake fertiliser, to read a statement authored by the National Cereals and Produce Board.

In the alleged statement, the authorities wanted Kel Chemicals to admit liability for the fake input. The firm refused

Wamboka said it was at that point that Linturi moved to close Kel Chemicals and declare its premises a crime scene.

The CS, however, made a strong pitch against introduction of new evidence by the Bumula MP to buttress the case that is threatening his position at the helm of the Agriculture docket.

Linturi urged the committee chaired by Marsabit Woman Representative Naomi Waqo to discard any evidence or witnesses not relied upon when MPs voted to pass the motion on Thursday last week.

We urge this committee to investigate the motion as approved by the House. This committee has no power to interrogate what was not before the House,” Linturi’s lead lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu said.

“There is zero room for introducing evidence that was not part of evidence that was in the motion.”

Making the ruling on Wednesday, the Marsabit MP said the committee will be open to new evidence relevant to the allegations cited in the ouster motion.

“Standing Order 64 does not prescribe specific evidence before the committee, we will allow any party to produce new evidence that is relevant to the allegations in the motion,” Waqo ruled.

“Article 125 and Standing Order 191 gives power to this committee to summon anybody before this committee.”

Waqo, however, challenged Wamboka to first prove to the committee the two hold key information relevant to the allegations the committee is considering.

The team also overruled Linturi’s claim to drop the motion as it is inadmissible.

“We have overruled objections,” Waqo ruled.

Linturi’s removal is pegged on three grounds. They are gross violation of the Constitution or any other law, serious reasons to believe the CS has committed a crime under national law and gross misconduct.

The daylong hearing was not without drama as Linturi linked his ex-lover and Aldai MP Marianne Kitany to his impeachment bid.

Lawyer Thiankolu told the select committee that it is Kitany who is behind his client’s ouster bid and not Wamboka.

“The mover of this motion is the member for Aldai,” Thiankolu insisted.

In his submissions, Thiankolu told the committee that the second charge was brought by the differences between Linturi and the Aldai MP.

“They are personal disputes between Linturi and Aldai MP. The million dollar question is; how did the mover of the motion make the difference between the two as the core basis upon which allegation number two is based?” Thiankolu posed.

He said all court cases between the two have been ruled in favour of his client.

Making his submissions, Wamboka told Linturi to keep the Aldai MP off the impeachment saga.

“I have looked at the responses by the CS and it is nothing short of a love letter by a jilted lover,” he said.

“These are grave matters to be reduced to lover matters.”

The Bumula MP, relying on three videos, tried to convince the probe team that the minister is unfit to hold office.

In one of the videos, the CS is heard denying existence of fake fertiliser in the country before accepting in another recording that indeed there was fake fertiliser and the government had taken remedial measures.

But in cross-examination, Thiankolu put Wamboka to task to explain how the CS approved the fertiliser procurement as alleged in the petition.

“Hon Wanami, did you put before the committee any evidence of written approval of the procurement of fertiliser by the Cabinet Secretary?” Thiankolu posed.

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