TNA meeting to kick out Nyeri Assembly Majority Leader ends in brawl

Chinga Member of County Assembly Paul Ngiria (left) and his Naromoru counterpart Marete Ringera protest a statement by Majority Leader Jesse Kamuri that Ward Representatives were paid to strip him of his position. PHOTO: MOSE SAMMY/STANDARD

NYERI: A meeting convened by The National Alliance party to oust Nyeri County Assembly Majority Leader Jesse Kamuri turned chaotic and ended prematurely after members disagreed on the mode of voting and whether or not to allow media presence.

Mr Kamuri had just begun his opening address when Chinga Ward Representative Paul Ngiria interjected his speech and demanded that the media be kicked out of the County Assembly lobby room.

"When we elected you, journalists were absent. Why are you applying double standards by allowing them to be part of this caucus?" asked Ngiria, an outspoken Member of County Assembly who a week ago successfully lobbied for ejection of journalists from Governor Nderitu Gachagua's meeting with MCAs at a Nanyuki hotel.

Kamuri attributed the attempt to strip him of the Majority Leader position to forces in the Executive and County Assembly which he said are implacably opposed to his root and branch approach in fighting graft in the government.

According to him, there are persons who dread having their corrupt practices exposed and ill-gotten wealth questioned if he continues leading TNA in the County Assembly.

"It is true I have stepped on some people's toes but I have no apologies to make. Interestingly, those seeking my removal are yet to specify what my misdeeds are. One reason I am being targeted is my incessant demand for the accountability of Sh 652 million debt incurred arbitrarily by the government," said Kamuri before he was interrupted.

Already, 24 Ward Representatives from TNA have signed a motion to remove Kamuri from the position and replace him with Kabaru MCA Duncan Gituanja who reportedly has the backing of Governor Gachagua.

While dismissing Ngiria's proposal to exclude the Press from the meeting, Kamuri reiterated the need for transparency insisting one need not fear if he had nothing to hide.

"But if you have been compromised and pocketed some money, we can understand your unduly concern for media presence," Kamuri blurted out, a statement that riled up Naromoru MCA Marete Ringera so much that he shot up from his seat and hurled a half full bottle of water at him.

That marked the beginning of a vitriolic argument that turned the meeting into a crowd-wide shouting match and fist throwing that pitted one faction led by Ngiria and Marete against another headed by Kiganjo-Mathari MCA Baragu Mutahi and Aguthi-Gaaki Ward Representative Wachira Waruru.

A few attempts by Kamuri to call the meeting to order fell on deaf ears and he gave up and sat down in despair prompting TNA Chief Whip Kahiga Thieri to cancel the meeting and push it to an unspecified date.

Shortly after the meeting was called off and members started walking out, Ngiria and Marete convinced a number of their colleagues to stay behind on the pretext of the need to discuss house-keeping issues.

On coming out later, they vehemently accused Kamuri of hindering the existence of a good-working relationship between the Executive and the County Assembly.

"The Majority Leader is a lone ranger who has peremptorily been imposing on us his own ideas. We are fed up with him. He must go," Marete stated.