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Beatrice Elachi resigns as city speaker

By Hillary Orinde | August 11th 2020 at 07:58:54 GMT +0300

Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi at a past press briefing in March 2019. [File, Standard]

The Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi -- who has been in the thick of a protracted tussle with ward representatives -- has resigned from her position.

Elachi told a televised press briefing on Tuesday morning that she had tendered her resignation to President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Standard Digital has not ascertained if she has addressed her resignation letter to the County Clerk and Governor as required by law.  

She cited "lots of conflicts" and "life-threatening incidents" in the recent days for her decision to leave office.

Her deputy, Ruai MCA John Kamangu, will take over the speaker roles in acting capacity pending the search for a new office holder.

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"It gives me great pleasure to have served as the speaker of Nairobi County Assembly from September 2017 when we finished the election to date," she read from her letter to the President.

She went on, "We have seen tremendous change but also challenges. With the coming in of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services, I believe Nairobi will transform to a better capital city. Notwithstanding, for the last few days, we have seen lots of conflict and even life-threatening incidents."

Elachi, who thanked the President and ODM chief Raila Odinga for "standing with her through the journey" said she left with her head high and without force, adding that she had done her best.

When asked what was next for her, Elachi said she was now free and could do anything.

"I will do the politics. I am going back to my Dagoretti North Constituency," she said.

She had a word for Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who she asked to focus on God and stop "threatening people’s lives, children’s and families."

Embattled Elachi

At the centre of Elachi’s woes is the tale of two clerks and the creation of two new deputy clerk positions.

Elachi has been opposed to Jacob Ngwele serving as the County Clerk – a battle that dates back to 2018 when the speaker held Ngwele’s appointment was irregular and that it did not conform to the legal framework as outlined in the County Assembly Services Act.

Ngwele was kicked out in November last year only for him to be reinstated mid this year. His reinstatement was later suspended by a court.

Late last month, Elachi suspended plenary sittings to September after her office was notified of an impeachment motion against her and after the courts issued an order halting the appointment of Edward Gichana as the new assembly clerk.

Gichana – whose appointment was gazetted by Elachi – had been sworn in as the new clerk to replace Ngwele.

Elachi and her deputy Kamangu were accused of abuse of office, illegal appointment of a new assembly clerk, corruption, poor leadership, victimisation of MCAs and assembly staff, impunity, disregard of the law and county orders, and militarisation of the assembly.

The matter of the two county clerks will be back in court on October 16.  Currently, the deputy clerk in charge of administrative affairs Pauline Akuku, a close ally of Elachi, has acts as the County Clerk.


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