County Speakers fight MCAs ouster bids

Wangui Githugo and Noah Cheploen @PeopleDailyke

Political temperatures hav ehit fever pitch in Nairobi and Nakuru County Assemblies as  respective House Speakers battle impeachment bids.

Nairobi’s Beatrice Elachi and Maina Kairo of Nakuru will today know if they will be removed from office after some Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs) separately presented motions for their impeachment over alleged misconduct.

Waithaka MCA Antony Kiragu will today present his motion against Elachi while  the motion sponsored by Biashara Ward MCA Peter Nyaguthie in Nakuru has already been supported by 55 MCAs.    To meet the legal threshold, 75 per cent of MCAs translating to 59 of the 78 MCAs have to vote for the motion to sail through.

Elachi has been at loggerheads with Clerk Jacob Ngwele, who alleges she has a personal interest in the Sh150 million tender for the acquisition of the Speaker’s residence. Kiragu says the Office of the Speaker is facing great embarrassment because of Elachi’s conduct.

But speaking to the People Daily on phone, Elachi said she is ready for the motion.“This impeachment will only work if the truth comes out. The Clerk must produce all tender documents and cancellation of the said Speaker house procurement.

Meanwhile, MCAs must be calm because sticky issues will be sorted out amicably,” said Elachi. She  is also accused of inviting investigators to probe alleged irregularities in procurement last week instead of the County Assembly Service Board.

In Nakuru, after days of lobbying and persuasion, Kairo is set to know his fate today as MCAs start debating the impeachment motion. Last week, the House Business Committee chaired by Majority Leader Stanley Karanja (Naivasha East) approved the motion, saying the grounds given were sufficient.  “We are going to give the Speaker a chance to respond to the claims,” said Karanja. 

Senator Susan Kihika, herself a former Speaker in the Assembly,  on Sunday summoned MCAs for a consultative meeting where she reportedly pleaded with them to shelve the plans.

“About 63 MCAs have signed the petition so we have the numbers to remove him… even those who attended the meeting with the Senator are on our side,” an MCA who wished not to be identified told the People Daily.   “Some of us boycotted the meeting because we knew it was a trap to lure us with handouts but our principles can’t allow us to be compromised…” another MCA said. 

At the same time, Governor Lee Kinyanjui has distanced himself from the impeachment bid, saying he is not party to such a motion. He said the timing was wrong because they were in the middle of budget-making. “We are in the budget-making process and I cannot initiate any underhand deal to push for the removal of the Speaker. I am a development conscious governor,” he said.

But MCAs allied to Speaker Kairo are blaming Kinyanjui and some MPs for his woes.  “What you’re seeing is purely politics and it all started after the Speaker declared his intention to vie for Nakuru East parliamentary seat,” he said on condition of anonymity.

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