Court reinstates Elachi, blocks future impeachment

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has reinstated Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi.

Justice Maureen Onyango cited massive flaws when the MCAs sacked Elachi last year.

She dismissed the assembly’s argument that the court has no powers to meddle in legislative process of Parliaments.

Onyango said it is unfair for the assembly to require Elachi to defend herself within hours.

"The respondents do not deny that the summons to the petitioner were served upon her at 1.30pm requiring her to appear before the floor of the assembly by 3.10pm. Even had she been present in her office, and had been personally served, this period would not qualify to be sufficient opportunity to respond,” she said.

The court also observed that the allegations by the MCAs, contained in a six-page document, did not have particulars of her alleged offences.

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The county accused Elachi of undermining its authority, conflict of interest and abuse of office.

But there were no dates of when she committed the offences, witnesses or documents supporting the claims.

“The decision was taken with ulterior motive calculated to prejudice the legal rights of the applicant."

Onyango ordered that she should get back to her office and that she should get all benefits that had been withdrawn in full from the time she was impeached on September 16, 2018.

She also barred the county from re-impeaching her on the basis of the same claims.

Lawyer Tom Ojienda for the MCAs said the majority of ward reps voted to impeach the Speaker adding that their voice could not be challenged in a court of law.

He also argued that Elachi was properly impeached as the court orders halting the process were served a day after the majority of MCAs decided she should leave.

But Elachi's lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui said she could not have sworn an affidavit as she was attending a devolution conference in Malindi.

Kinyanjui added that the MCAs wanted Elachi to travel back to Nairobi within hours, which was impossible.

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Nairobi County Assembly Beatrice ElachiEmployment and Labour Relations Court