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Kisumu MCAs refuse to break for recess with an eye for more allowances

By Harold Odhiambo | Published Sun, December 18th 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 17th 2016 at 21:22 GMT +3
Kisumu County governor Jack Ranguma addresses residents gathering at Kisumu Sports ground

Kisumu County MCAs are drawing allowances illegally after voting to extend the life of the Assembly, whose term ended two weeks ago. Assembly Speaker Ann Adul distanced herself from the extension, saying Kisumu was the only Assembly still in session across the country. On Thursday, the MCAs voted to extend their session for the second week running despite not tabling any reports for discussion.

The week before last, House committees that were supposed to table reports before the floor of the House withdrew all the reports and last week members did not debate. In a motion moved by North West Kisumu MCA Samuel Ombogo, the ward representatives said the extension was necessary to enable them debate on reports that were yet to be brought before the House.

“There are reports that have not been debated and it is important that we debate them before we break for a long recess,” said Mr Ombogo. During the session however, members did not debate any of the reports that were on the order paper.

Chairperson of the Committee, Fanuel Aim, defended withdrawal of the two reports from last week: “This is a House of rules; there are reasons why we have not had any debates. It is clear why I withdrew my motions,” said Mr Aim. On Tuesday, the MCA withdrew reports claiming that members did not carry with them their copies of the reports.

On Wednesday, the Assembly adjourned for a kamukunji after failing to discuss any reports. North Nyakach MCA Maina Koko questioned why members were still insisting on postponing the long recess despite holding no debates.

“The reports members are saying have not been debated have been here for two weeks and yet we are saying there is serious business that needs to be debated on,” said Koko. “We should have adjourned this House two weeks ago,” he added.

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This comes about two weeks after the MCAs voted unanimously to overrule a letter that Adul had written to the city management informing them that the assembly is on long recess. Ms Adul had written to the city manager telling her not to allow plenary sessions to be conducted at City Hall because the MCAs were on recess. In her letter dated December 6 and seen by The Standard on Sunday, Adul noted that the Assembly started their long recess on December 2 and will resume their sessions on February 7, 2017.