City MCA's risk losing seats for skipping sessions

Nairobi City County Assembly MCAs during plenary sessions on Thursday, May 4, 2023 [Samson Wire, Standard].

Several Members of the Nairobi County Assembly risk losing their seats for skipping plenary sessions.

Speaker Kennedy Ngondi warned that the trend could land some members in trouble.

“We are supposed to have three sessions in a week but last week for instance we had only one session,” Ngondi stated.

Ngondi was forced to adjourn another sitting on Tuesday, August 8, due to a lack of quorum for the plenary sitting.

Slightly over 20 members out of 123 were present forcing the Speaker to dismiss the session.

The Speaker said as per standing Orders, a bell must ring outside the Assembly for ten minutes at the start of every session to alert the members.

“If there is no quorum another ten minutes is added then five minutes is added before the house is adjourned,” he explained.

Notably, this has been the case since early July when there were protests in the city forcing some members to access the city centre.

The Speaker noted that members who skip the sessions eight consecutive times could automatically lose their seats as dictated by the law.

Two weeks ago, some members claimed that they were skipping the sittings due to delays in payment of their allowances.

On June 26, Speaker Ngondi met with a section of MCAs to iron out the issues about their allowances but they have been unable to raise the quorum since then.

“It is a responsibility of the members to attend sittings because they draw salaries from giving services to the people,” the speaker stated after the meeting with the Ward reps.

Adding that, “attending plenary is one of the core mandates of the members if you run away from the responsibility, I think that is wrong,”

Ngondi said that once the budget has been published and uploaded by the COB the members and County staff will access it this month.