County Speakers, Assemblies differ on impeachment

Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) and Speakers yesterday differed over whether senators should play an oversight role in county Assemblies following the wave of impeachments against the latter.

While Speakers insisted that senators should intervene in the ongoing wrangles, MCAs told senators to keep off and stick to their role as outlined in the Constitution.

At a meeting called by a joint Senate Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations and that of Justice and Legal Affairs, the two entities blamed each other for the current mess witnessed in Assemblies.

In particular, MCAs told the senators that they will not allow them to play “big brother” on them as they have their own way of dealing with problems whenever they occur.

They claimed that some Speakers were being ousted because they were “planted” there by governors, while others have become big headed and were not listening to them.

Led by Nairobi County  Leader of Majority Abdi Guyo, they said instead of Senators intervening, they should empower County Assemblies to have their own Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (ADRMs).

The MCAs drawn from Nairobi, Nandi and Kisii counties insisted that the role of the Senators is clearly defined in the Constitution thus intervening on any issue will not be fruitful.

“The Senate should not in any way oversight MCAs. Every Senator has a seat preserved for him or her in the Assembly, they should attend sittings to see what goes on and not act on media reports,”  he said.

But Nandi Speaker Joshua Kiptoo said the Senate should be involved in the wrangles affecting the counties because MCAs have resorted to impeaching Speakers when demanding lucrative foreign benchmarking trips and other favours.

Kiptoo urged Senators to come up with proposals that will see them not only being given security of tenure but also an appeal mechanism in case they are impeached just like governors.

“If the MCAs are sincere with their move to remove speakers from office why then not follow the right procedures,” he said.

County Assemblies Forum (CAF), which had also appeared before the committee, said it is a shame that the two entities were blaming each other for the wrangles that they are facing.

Chairperson Johnson Osoi said it is regrettable that the differences between MCAs  and Speakers have led to the involvement of senators.

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