Nominated MCAs to get new offices, personal assistants

Governor Mike Sonko (centre), County Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo (right) and other leaders arrive for a meeting in Nairobi. [File, Standard]
Nominated Nairobi MCAs will soon get offices and personal assistants just like their elected counterparts.

Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo announced the finances for the nominated MCAs' offices and personal assistants would be factored in the next budget, saying they need equal treatment with their elected colleagues.

“For the members to fervently perform their oversight, legislative and representative roles, they need personal assistants to assist with research as well as new offices to operate from just like their elected counterparts. The leadership will make sure they have a budget for the same,” said Guyo.

The Nairobi county assembly has 85 elected members. There are 39 nominated members; 36 women and two men.

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He was responding to Majority Chief Whip Waithera Chege who had accused the assembly of sidelining the nominated MCAs.

She had also raised concern that no money had been set aside for nominated members in the current financial year, which she said went against a circular by Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

“The members have been working without offices which has proved to be of much inconvenience so I am urging the leadership to ensure they have permanent structures,” said Waithera.

At the same time, plans are underway to build a Sh400 million office block for elected city MCAs.

According to the Nairobi County Annual Development Plan 2019-2020, the new block will be located at the parking space between Taifa Road and City Hall Way.

Most ward reps operate from rented spaces.

“Currently 53 wards out of 85 are accommodated in rented offices. The remaining 32 offices are therefore in need of quick attention,” states City Hall through the report.

The county government is expected to spend a further Sh100 million on furniture and computers for the new offices.

The revelations came as the members resumed sittings after a two-month break.

Electing a substantive speaker, vetting of CEC nominees, approval of the Urban Housing Renewal and Regeneration Policy and passing of the Traffic Management Bill 2018 topped Nairobi county assembly’s agenda as it resumed sittings last week.

Two other crucial bills namely the Nairobi City County Tobacco Control Bill 2018 and Nairobi City County Trade Licensing Bill, which were tabled in December last year and are currently in the first reading stage, will also be prioritised.

Acting County Speaker Chege Mwaura said the assembly will empower committees to better perform their duties.

He also said the assembly would be "drama-free" this time round.

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