Kitui governor denies flouting election laws

Kitui Governor Julius Malombe has threatened to sue the Commission on Administrative Justice over allegations that he had broken the law by using a vehicle belonging to the county government for his campaigns.

Dr Malombe, through his lawyers Apollo Muinde & Partners gave the commission acting Chairperson Regina Mwatha 48 hours to retract a letter she had written to the Director of Public Prosecutions demanding that he takes action against the governor. Failure to do so, Dr Malombe warned would compel him to seek legal redress in court.

Dr Malombe was among five governors the commission also known as the Office of the Ombudsman wanted investigated for flouting electoral laws by using public resources for political their activities.

The commission accused Dr Malombe of branding a vehicle belonging to the county government of Kitui with colours of the Wiper Democratic Movement – Kenya during his campaigns contrary to section 14 (1) of Election Offences Act that prohibits the use of public resources in political activities.

But in his demand letter to the commission yesterday, Dr Malombe maintained that the vehicle in question belonged to one Robert Makau, who had donated it to him for use during the campaigns.

“The allegation that the car Registration Number KBN 335J is the property of Kitui county government is not only fallacious but malicious given that the said car is the private property of one Robert Kalali Makau.

“The said Mr Makau having donated the same for the use of our client’s campaign with regard to his quest for the Kitui county gubernatorial seat,” the letter read.

“A copy of the vehicle’s logbook is herewith attached for your perusal and ease of reference. Our client’s official twitter handle is Julius M. Malombe. Neither him nor his agents have published pictures of the vehicle on the said handle for campaign or any other purposes.

“A motor vehicle copy of records regarding details of the registered ownership of the subject vehicle and for that matter any other vehicle that our client has placed at his disposal for campaign purposes can readily be obtained from the office of the National &Safety Authority headquartered at Hill Park building, Upper Hill for the avoidance of doubt. 

“Thus, the vehicle’s ownership is easily verifiable and the letter emanating from your office must invariably be inferred to have been actuated by malice,” it further read.

The governor, who is facing opposition from Kitui senator David Musila and former Lands Cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu, described the allegations as “careless, reckless and malicious.”

He added that the allegations were aimed at tainting his image ahead of the August 8 election.

The other governors cited by the commission included Peter Munya of Meru, Ali Hassan Joho of Mombasa, Paul Chepkwony of Kericho and Simon Kachapin of West Pokot.

The commission also cited Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner-General John Njiraini and principal secretaries Karanja Kibicho (Internal Security) and Joseph Njoroge (Energy) for directly taking part in political activities contrary to the Public Officers Ethics Act.

Titus Ibui, the chairman of the Leather Development Council’s board, has also been mentioned.

They county leaders are Peter Munya, Ali Hassan Joho, Paul Chepkwony, Simon Kachapin and Julius Malombe.

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