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Row: Abdi Guyo-led group vows to defy Elachi order on House leadership

By Josphat Thiong'o | June 15th 2020

Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi. [File, Standard]

A battle over Jubilee leadership at the Nairobi County Assembly is looming with a faction threatening to occupy office forcefully.

Newly appointed leaders – MCAs Abdi Guyo, Peter Wanyoike, Paul Kados and Waithera Chege – have warned they will forcefully assume office this week after Speaker Beatrice Elachi last week failed to implement changes communicated to the House by Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju.

In a letter from Kados, the Majority whip designate, to Elachi, the leaders decried the "continued disobeyance of the Jubilee Party position by Speaker Elachi."

Tuju last Wednesday reiterated that the leadership changes made in April reinstating Guyo as the Majority leader and appointing Wanyoike as the Deputy majority leader, Kados as the Majority whip and Waithera as the Deputy Majority whip were final.

He warned that Elachi could face disciplinary action if she failed to implement them.

But the speaker ruled that the communicated changes were not in tandem with requirements of provisions of the laws governing the Assembly.

She said that the interim leadership of MCAs Charles Thuo (Dandora Phase Three), June Ndegwa (nominated), Millicent Mugadi (Ziwani) and Abdikadir Mohamed (California) will continue serving in the House.

While giving her communication to the House on Thursday, Elachi noted that the mandate of communicating leadership changes lies with the majority whip and not the party’s secretary general.

Elachi further noted that Tuju’s communication did not abide by the assembly’s Standing Orders.

Kados has, however, protested the Speaker's actions saying that she acted in total contradiction of the law and with bias.

"In the circumstances and seeing that nothing will sway your bias, be advised therefore that the party having dispensed with these matters and you having made your bias obvious with such impunity, and this office having complied with provisions of standing order 20 to no avail, we shall each proceed to take up our roles as mandated by the Jubilee Party, and act as if your communication was never issued in the first place," read the letter dated June 11, 2020 and seen by Standard Digital.

Kados proceeded to cite instances where he claimed that the Speaker had acted in contradiction of the ruling party's position and the Assembly's standing orders.

He noted that he had written to the speaker on April 15, 2020 communicating the change in Jubilee leadership, which was accompanied by the minutes and a list of attendance indicative of the two-thirds majority threshold in line with Standing order 20.

The letter was also copied to Jubilee Party through the secretary general, which decision of the caucus the party endorsed by communicating the changes to the office of the speaker through a letter dated April 16, 2020.

In the second instance, the MCA noted that instead of Elachi communicating the changes in the sitting held on April 17, she demanded that the Party write to her directly despite her having no role in the process save to communicate the party's position impartially.

The office subsequently wrote to the Secretary General in good faith on May 12, 2020 communicating the Speaker's demands and requested that he writes to the Speaker directly.

But again, according to Kados, Elachi refused to communicate the party's affirmation of its leadership and give direction on the matter that was brought to her attention in April 2020.

"Instead, the speaker indicated that she will take up the issue with the leader of the party for clarity and that a parliamentary group meeting of the Jubilee membership at the assembly will have to be held before the changes were endorsed even as she verified the SG's letter," noted Kados.

The MCA also took on Elachi on her stance that the law did not envision a situation where interim leadership would be appointed, saying that the party was at liberty to appoint its leaders as it sees fit regardless of whether they were suspended or not.

The Mihango ward MCA was also opposed to the communication by the Speaker directing that Abdi Guyo cannot be confirmed as the majority leader since he was under suspension and would be an impediment to execution of House business.

"The purported suspension of the majority leader was stopped by the court which orders you were served but your actions highlight the singular focus to frustrate the party's decision," he stated.

"Additionally, according to a Jubilee Party group meeting held on June 10, the party re-affirmed its position but the speaker did not convey the party wishes and continues to act in disregard of the clear standing orders," he added.

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