Impeached Governor Ferdinand Waititu can’t seem to catch a break after he was dealt another big blow on Tuesday.
The former Kiambu County boss lost a bid to block two prosecution witnesses from testifying against him in Sh580 million graft case.
Senior Principal Magistrate Thomas Nzioki ruled that the court would not be promoting the rule of law if it shut out the evidence without a hearing.
Waititu had moved to court to block former Finance Chief Officer Faith Njeri Harrison and former Director of Supply Chain Management Justus Bundi Kinoti from testifying, arguing that their testimony against him would be skewed.
But the magistrate said whether a person is competent to give evidence is a question of fact and for the court to decide during trial.
He noted that the Director of Public Prosecutions’ prosecutorial powers are intertwined with the duty to identify and call witnesses.
Magistrate Nzioki also said public interest in the punishment of crime justifies legal requirement that a competent witness should be compellable.
“A witness is not bestowed with the privilege to choose whether or not to cooperate in giving information to the investigations of crime,” he stated.
“All state organs and public officers need to promote the rule of law as it’s among the national values and principles of governance. In my view promoting this can’t be attained when we shut out the evidence,” he said.
On Monday, Waititu suffered another setback after the High Court rejected his application to bar incumbent Kiambu governor James Nyoro from appointing a deputy.