Kericho County Assembly Ward representatives speaking after a meeting on Assembly leadership in Nakuru. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Sixteen Members of Kericho County Assembly (MCA) were blocked from traveling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Tuesday evening.

The MCAs were barred at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 7pm Tuesday from boarding their flight to Dubai, as President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA)  initiates disciplinary measures against the assembly leadership.

The decision to bar the ward representatives from leaving the country, comes hot on the heels summons issued to Speaker Patrick Mutai by the party's disciplinary committee over the recent leadership wrangles at the assembly.

The standard has established that the MCAs They were scheduled for  a meeting on Thursday, January, 19,  with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua to be held at Deputy President’s  Harambee Annex office.

“Please stand advised accordingly,” read a letter signed by United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Secretary General Veronica Maina.

The letter dated January 17 came two days after President William Ruto publicly reprimanded the MCAs over leadership wrangle that has threatened to derail development in the county.

The County Assembly Deputy Speaker Erick Bett while confirming the suspension of the trip said the MCAs were heading to Dubai for a benchmark on development.

“We will be meeting the Deputy President tomorrow morning, the trip had been scheduled earlier,” said Bett.

 Documents in possession of the Controller of Budget indicate that the MCAs 10 days trip would have cost the taxpayer over Sh2.5M to feed and accommodate each of the ward representatives. 

The list of the MCAs in the aborted trip include; Gilbert Ngetich (Kisiara), Mathew Korir ( Chaik), Albert Kipkoech (Soliat)), Dr Naaman Rop ( Soin), Simon Koskei (Kunyak), Anthony Ruto ( Kipkelion), Hezron Ngetich (Chilchila), Paul Bii  (Kapsaos), Philip Mutai ( Kipchimchim), Cheruiyot Bett (Ainamoi).

Others included David Maritim  (Chepseon), Richard Langat  (Kedowa/Kimugul), Moses Rotich ( Tendeno), Gladys Chesang  (Nominated), Monica Chelangat  (Nominated) and Vincent MarkToo ( Nominated).

Head of Public Service Felix Koskei is on record stating that all state officers including MCAs must adhere to austerity measures set by President William Ruto that includes scaling down of foreign travels.

Meanwhile, Kapsoit ward representative Paul Chirchir has called on Kericho police to carry out an investigation how one of the  members sneaked a tear gas canister into the assembly during the special budget reading last Friday.

A nominated member of the county assembly allegedly carried the gadget in her handbag.

Speaking to the press at Saptet restaurant, who is UDA Chairman Kericho County called on the police to carry out investigations on how the nominated MCA acquired the teargas and managed to sneak into the assembly during special budget reading.

‘’We wonder how a gadget that should have been in custody of the police ended up in the hands of a civilian,” Chirchir posed.

Police in Kericho declined to comment on the issue but a reliable source confirmed that the gadget had been handed over to them but declined to divulge more details.