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Kisumu North MCA Elisha Oraro takes oath of office after he was elected as temporary speaker in the absence of Onyango Oloo who is facing criminal charges. [Denish Ochieng/Standard]
Embattled Kisumu County Assembly Speaker Onyango Oloo has laid out plans to return to the chambers today and chair the afternoon session.

Speaking yesterday, Deputy Speaker Roy Samo, a top Oloo ally, said he has been in close contact with the ousted speaker who is planning to return to the chambers today.

“We have our plans ready. We will pick the Speaker from the airport and drive him to the county assembly where he will resume his duties,” said Mr Samo who is also the MCA for Kajuku ward.

Yesterday, a group of MCAs allied to Oloo dismissed a vote by the assembly to elect an Acting speaker to replace Oloo who is battling corruption charges.

North Kisumu Ward MCA Elisha Oraro was elected the Acting speaker. The tension surrounding his election has prompted police to beef up security within assembly premises.

Legal pitfalls

Samo said the Tuesday afternoon session which saw Oloo ousted was marred by legal pitfalls.

“The assembly had adjourned before the Acting speaker was elected. The petition ODM MCAs signed to confirm Oloo’s ouster was signed by an MCA who is not a member of the party,” said Samo.

The protracted speaker’s election debate has fired up wrangles in the county assembly which has now been divided into two factions - one supporting Oloo and the other rooting for Oraro.

According to the Oloo faction, tough legal questions await MCAs who voted to get rid of him should he lodge a case against the election of Oraro.

An MCA allied to Oloo and who sought anonymity told The Standard that the election of an Acting speaker was not discussed in the House Business Committee as scheduled in the Standing Orders.

The Oraro faction, however, has asserted that the election was conducted in accordance with the law.

One of Oraro’s supporters, Majority Leader Kenneth Onyango, said the decision to oust Oloo and install Oraro was grounded in law.

He said the operations of the assembly must go on with or without Oloo. Mr Onyango said it was imperative that Oloo clears his name in the graft charges before he thinks of returning to office.

“If the Speaker is absent, then the assembly has powers to elect an Acting speaker to take charge,” said Onyango.

His sentiments were shared by other MCAs including Seth Olale (Nyalenda B), Prisca Misachi (Kaloleni), Paul Okiri (West Kisumu) and Seth Kanga (Market Milimani).

Push laws

Oraro has vowed to unite the assembly and push for the legislation of bills he says have been deliberately frustrated by Oloo’s leadership.

“We have a lot of urgent issues that we need to address including the budget stalemate,” said Oraro.

“There are also a number of bills that are touching on the Governor’s manifesto which have been lying idle since last year.”

The leadership wrangles have come at a time when the assembly is facing a budget stalemate.

About two weeks ago, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o rejected amendments the ward representatives had made on his budget proposals, including an attempt by the MCAs to include a Sh45 million allocation for their wards.

He also argued that the assembly failed to adhere to regulations of the public finance management regulations 2015 by making changes to the budget estimates beyond the required one per cent.

He said there was irregular introduction of new development projects totalling Sh1.50 billion contrary to the county government Act, together with sections in the PFM Act 2012.

Onyango Oloo Kisumu County Assembly speaker
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