Trouble is brewing in the Homa Bay County Assembly after members of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party took over both the minority and majority leadership positions.
There was unease after the assembly leadership nominated ODM’s George Okello (North Kabuoch Ward) as the minority leader to replace John Njira (West Karachuonyo Ward) of the Wiper Party.
The changes also affected the position of deputy minority leader with ODM’s Peter Asoyo (West Kaksingri Ward) replacing Paul Adika (Lambwe Ward), who was elected on an Independent ticket.
Fifty-eight out of the 60 MCAs in the assembly were elected on an ODM platform. Mr Njira and Mr Adika are the only non-party members. Yesterday, the ousted members objected at their removal and termed the decision as “unfortunate”.
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Njira argued that he should have retained his position by virtue of Wiper being the only other party in the assembly.
“ODM is the majority party in this assembly. This means the position of minority leader automatically belongs to me as a Wiper MCA,” he said.
Njira said he was “consulting widely” and had not ruled out the possibility of pursuing legal redress.
Adika claimed his ouster was intended to frustrate him, adding that there was another plan by the assembly leadership to remove him from the Public Accounts and Investment Committee.
“My removal has been orchestrated by ODM MCAs in an effort to frustrate me because I am an independent candidate,” he said.
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Adika also decried the fight for plum positions in the county. “My colleagues have violated the Constitution by removing us from our minority leadership positions.”
But acting Speaker Godfrey Anyango defended the assembly leadership, saying they had not broken the law by removing the two ward representatives from their positions.
Mr Anyango said the assembly had agreed that MCAs who were nominated to the position of minority and deputy minority leaders could come from any of the parties.
He said the agreement was reached after realisation that the minority party (Wiper) did not have the required number of MCAs.
“The Constitution states that MCAs from minority parties should constitute five per cent of the total MCAs in the assembly in order to have a minority leader. But this is not applicable here because we have only one MCA from a minority party, which is Wiper,” said Anyango.
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He added that Wiper and ODM were both members of the National Super Alliance. “I can only tell my colleagues to be calm because they do not merit that post.”