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Senate, County Assemblies in row over impeachment of speakers

By Josephat Thiong'o | Published Fri, November 9th 2018 at 15:57, Updated November 9th 2018 at 16:20 GMT +3
Nairobi County Assembly during a past sitting. [Josephat Thiong’o, Standard]

The Nairobi County Assembly has told off the senate for criticizing assemblies for impeaching speakers.

At the same time, the city MCAs have castigated the County Assembly Speakers’ Forum over an attempt to seek Senate protection.

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Led by majority leader, Abdi Guyo, Nairobi MCAs launched an attack on the Senate accusing them of taking over the roles of the county assemblies and trying to manage their affairs.

“Six years down the line, the senate has not passed any legislation towards assisting the county assemblies to have the capacity to oversight the governor. They have also failed to pass a law to make sure that the national government has fully devolved all the dockets such as agriculture but they are busy involving themselves with the business of the county assemblies. They should focus on their mandate,” stated Guyo.

The majority leader, who also doubles up as Matopeni ward MCA, threatened that should the Senate not steer clear from interfering with assemblies, they would instigate a constitutional referendum to have the Senate scrapped.

“The Senate has no business perfecting the county assemblies. We have our constitutional mandate and they have theirs and they should stick to it. The senators are now becoming busy bodies and are now purporting that the work of the county speakers is to oversight the governors. It’s like telling me that speaker Justin Muturi’s role is to oversight President Uhuru Kenyatta,” added Guyo.

The sentiments come just days after a senate committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations warned assemblies against impeaching and threatening speakers.

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This was also after the chairman of the intergovernmental legal committee who also is the Nandi speaker, Joshua Kiptoo, urged the senate committee to amend speakers’ impeachment process to meet the threshold similar to that of the governor.

Kiptoo wants that once their impeachment is passed at the County Assembly, it is taken to the senate for reconsideration.

But speaking to members of the press yesterday, MCAs urged the speakers to cultivate a harmonious working relationship between them and the MCAs as opposed to turning to the senate for protection.

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“The speakers are employed by MCAs should they should learn how to coexist and work together with us,” said Guyo.

He further urged the senate to dismissed ‘baseless’ petitions from the speakers who were only out to protect their interests but rather work to ensure the prosperity of county Governments. Guyp called on the senate to focus on its mandate.

“The senators have no mandate to elect and or impeach speakers on behalf of the county assemblies so they should stick to their work,” he said.

Numerous speakers have in the recent past borne the brunt of disgruntled MCAs who have accused their leaders of various allegations.

Nairobi Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi was impeached two months ago, over allegations that included conflict of interest, undermining the authority of the county assembly service board, abuse of office, gross misconduct as well as failure to show leadership.

Homa Bay Speaker Elizabeth Ayoo as well as Kakamega speaker Morris Buluma were also ousted following allegations of biasness and failure to approve MCAs’ mortgage and car loans. They were also accused of using county funds for personal gain respectively.

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