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Tharaka Nithi rocked by resignation of House officials

By Dickson Mwiti | March 2nd 2020

Tharaka Nithi Speaker David Mbaya last week tendered a 30-day resignation notice, citing ‘wars’ in the county assembly.

Mr Mbaya confirmed to The Standard that he had issued the notice, adding that he was still consulting widely before going public with the problems that pushed him over the edge.

"You are not new in Tharaka-Nithi County and I believe you know the wars that are in that Assembly,” he said.

But some MCAs have urged the Speaker to withdraw the resignation notice that he filed on Tuesday, saying they were ready to defend him against any intrusion by the Executive.

"We are working well with the Speaker and we will stand with him against forces from the Executive,” said Chogoria MCA Margaret Gitari.

Two weeks after the county Assembly resumed business, no substantive motion has been presented on the floor of the House.

There has been confusion on the fate of House Clerk Amos Sikweya who has continued in office despite allegedly tendering his resignation through the embattled Speaker.

Some members who were pushing for Mr Sikweya's exit walked out last week after realising that the clerk was still approving and signing motions.

Sikweya had requested to return to the Senate from where he had been seconded by the Parliamentary Service Commission.

The ward representatives blame him for failing to surrender the Assembly's financial documents to an external audit committee. He also allegedly paralysed the operations of an ad hoc committee that had been formed to scrutinise the Assembly’s spending.

The MCAs further accuse Sikweya of intimidation by issuing them with forged letters allegedly from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Isiolo office summoning them to respond to graft allegations.

"He brought us fake letters pretending to be summons from EACC. We later learnt that they were not authentic, and were only meant to intimidate us,” said Magumoni MCA Justin Kithinji.

Mr Kithinji, who had sponsored a motion to force the clerk to vacate office, said he was surprised to discover that the motion was missing in the order paper.

A separate motion to hold an election for the House leadership was filed by nominated MCA Muthini Karangi.

Sources indicated that the motion was intended to remove Majority Leader Murithi Gaturo and Ms Gitari, who is also the Majority Whip.

But the plan flopped and Mr Gaturo and Ms Gitari retained their seats.

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