Nairobi MCAs defy court order, maintain Speaker Elechi is still impeached

Embattled Speaker Beatrice Elachi. [Courtesy]
On September 6, 2018, former nominated Senator Beatrice Elachi and then the speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly was on her lowest moment after MCAs passed an impeachment motion against her and later attempted to eject her from office.

On Wednesday, a court reinstated her to the office but the drama is far from over.

Some Nairobi MCAs have vowed not to allow her back.

Speaking to KTN News on Wednesday, Nairobi county Minority Leader Peter Imwatok was categorical that Elachi remained persona non grata despite the court order.

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“The so-called or former Nairobi speaker is a stranger. Right now when she is coming here, she should come as a visitor and she must have a tag. This is not a city toilet that you just go there and open the door and do the business you want to do inside,” said Imwatok.

Nairobi Majority leader Abdi Hassan said, “it was impossible to work with unwanted staff”.

He added: “If you sack your staff and the court says you must allow that staff back, how are you going to work with the staff? For us, we are not going to allow Elachi back.”

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Nevertheless, Elachi’s lawyer Harrison Kinyajui insists that the honourable members ought to follow the legal process if they disagree with the court’s verdict.

"My client's position is for the rule of law to prevail and parties to act within the prescription of the law and act within good governance in espousing good leadership," he told Standard Digital.

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Kinyanjui says the impeachment was unlawful and its nullification affirms that his client remains the legal speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly. He is also optimistic of a possible handshake between the two conflicting parties.

However, according to KTN News, the County Assembly will defy president Uhuru and Raila Odinga’s orders to have Elachi back. 

“We have no time to impeach her for the second time. She can be a speaker but not a speaker of Nairobi County Assembly,” Abdi told KTN News.

Standard Digital has learnt through lawyer Kinyanjui that even after her impeachment, Elachi had continued to live in the County Speaker’s official residence and had received her salary until the end of 2018.

MCAs struggle to find a way to eject Elachi out of her office.[File, Standard]
During the impeachment motion out of 122 MCAs, 103 voted in support of her impeachment. Two opposed and a similar number abstained. The remaining members were absent.

But, Elachi did not accept the verdict. She initiated a spirited fight in the corridors of justice for reinstatement.

After the judgment by the Employment and Labour Relations Court delivered by Justice Maureen Onyango, Elachi had the last laugh.

The court declared that the County Assembly had no powers or jurisdiction to impeach Elachi without following the due process. The court also ruled that her salary be backdated to the last month she received the payment.

The court further prohibited the Nairobi County Assembly from entertaining or debating any motion to remove Elachi without according her due process.

But even as Elachi remains the Speaker of the City County Assembly, according to the law, tough times await her owing to the backlash she continues to receive from her employers.

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Beatrice ElachiNairobi County AssemblyBosco Marita