The ongoing wrangles for key leadership positions at the Nairobi County Assembly among United Democratic Alliance MCAs have left Governor Johnson Sakaja walking on a tightrope.
The UDA wing which is the minority in the Assembly has been represented by Waithaka member Anthony Kiragu as Minority Leader while his Umoja 1 counterpart Mark Mugambi has been the Minority Whip.
That was until October, when a different faction held a meeting and resolved to replace both Kiragu and Mugambi.
In their resolution, 35 out of 52 UDA Ward Reps appended their signatures on a petition to change the Assembly leadership.
The rival group accused Kiragu and Mugambi of disobedience in following party instructions in the Committee’s membership and exercising individualism. They also accused the two of lacking integrity and failing to unite UDA Assembly members.
In response, the party headquarters on October 23, appointed Nairobi South MCA Waithera Chege as the Minority Leader and Githurai's Deonysias Mwangi as the Deputy.
Others appointed by the party were Joyce Muthoni as the Minority Whip and Mwaura Samora, as the Deputy Minority Whip.
In their maiden address in a joint statement, the team said that there have been issues affecting both the Assembly and the Executive and poor delays in Assembly funding activities.
They also highlighted lack of legislative support and a disconnect between the Executive’s priorities and the realities on the ground.
Kiragu and Mugambi immediately protested the move at the UDA headquarters claiming that the signatures in the petition to remove them were forged. The two also managed to temporarily stop their ouster in court in a matter that will be mentioned on November 7, 2023.
In their affidavit, they claimed that they were unlawfully removed from their positions without due process or fair hearing.
Some UDA members have now claimed that the move to change the leadership is laying the foundation for the impeachment of the governor.
But the Waithera-led faction has defended its quest for leadership change, stating that the aim is to ensure the UDA pledges should be delivered.
"Ours about uniting UDA in the Assembly and ensuring that the promises that we made to the city residents are fulfilled. Members have been treated without respect," Waithera stated.
"UDA agenda has not been well executed in the assembly because those leaders are focused on personal interests. No one wants to impeach the governor," she added
Her counterpart, Joyce Muthoni who is a nominated member noted that the change has nothing to do with impeachment.
"Kenya Kwanza has 55 members including independent and it is split into two groups at the moment. How can 27 members impeach a governor in an assembly of 124 members," she posed.
Explaining, "If impeachment comes then it must be an agreement of the whole house both in Kenya Kwanza and Azimio."
Meanwhile, Kiragu and Mugambi claim that attempts to remove them were a plot to begin the process of impeaching the county boss.
"It was a first step in the process but it failed miserably, that is a pipe dream," said Kiargu.
Mugambi on his part claims the faction that wants leadership change has only 13 elected MCA's and 14 nominated while the pro-leadership have 23 elected and 3 nominated.
Amid the ongoing leadership wrangles Sakaja and his deputy James Muchiri are being dragged into politics.
According to some MCAs, Sakaja and Muchiri are supporting opposing camps in the assembly.
“The deputy governor had called for a meeting attended by MCAs from Central Kenya at Bowling Green, the weekend before the process started,” Mugambi claimed.
But Waithera refutes the claims insisting the meeting, which she attended, had nothing to do with a change of leadership.
“In fact, the meeting was attended by all the Kenya Kwanza members because it was a Mount Kenya Caucus, nothing to do with change of leadership,” said Waithera.