Three Jubilee nominated MCAs on Friday appeared before the disciplinary committee to face charges of undermining the party’s leadership.
The MCAs, Anne Thumbi, Sylvia Museiya and Millicent Jagero appeared at the Jubilee Headquarters in Pangani to face accusations of disregarding the party’s positions on various issues.
At the centre of the summons is the much-contested Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2020 that had been earlier rejected by Governor Mike Sonko.
Before the committee also was Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen whose services were enlisted to appear on behalf of the MCAs.
Thumbi, Museiya and Jagero were accused of opposing the budget appropriation bill by signing a petition that seeks to have it quashed. The petition was made by, among others, Governor Sonko.
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Thumbi is also accused of undermining the party’s position through posts she made on social media, Majority Whip Paul Kados submitted screenshots of the said posts. Thumbi was also accused of disrupting an assembly proceeding by shouting, charges she has denied.
In her defense, Thumbi said she has been loyal to the party and not done anything outside the constitution.
“I am loyal to the party, I even led the Kibra by-election campaigns,” said Thumbi.
A notice to appear before the Committee was served to Thumbi by the Majority Whip on November 24, 2020, asking her to appear before it after a complaint was forwarded on November 4, 2020.
“You are hereby required to appear on the 27th November 2020 at 10:00 am when the complaint against you will be heard by this committee sitting at Jubilee Headquarters in accordance with the Jubilee Party Disciplinary Committee regulations, 2017,” the notice read.
The three have also been accused of rejecting the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report and working in cahoots with the governor to deny the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) funds to run its functions.
However, Murkomen said the charge sheet is defective as there was no date and venue for when the offence was committed and Thumbi should not be punished for going to court. He termed the charges as a charade and wants the petition struck out.
According to Murkomen, the charges are trumped up.
He accused the County Assembly leadership of victimization as 55 members signed the affidavit yet only three were charged before the committee.
“Ann Thumbi, Sylvia Museiya and Millicent Jagero are being intimidated with trumped up charges to coerce them to violate the Constitution of Kenya,” Murkomen said.
A memorandum by Sonko on the Appropriation Bill was rejected by the county Assembly early this month.
88 out of 122 MCAs voted against Sonko’s memorandum reaching the two-thirds majority vote needed to reject the memorandum as per the law.
Sonko refused to assent to the budget citing a deficit and 'illegal' allocation of funds to NMS, sending it back to the assembly with amendments.
While rejecting the budget, Sonko recommended the assembly to reduce the budget from Sh37.5 billion to Sh31.6 billion in accordance with the County Fiscal Strategy Paper 2020/2021 and budget estimates that were presented by the Executive.
The county boss also rejected the allocation of Sh1.6 billion for inspectorate services and transfer of the Sh1.3 billion Ward Development Fund from his office to NMS.
Murkomen argued that the three MCAs supported the initial budget and did not interfere in defeating Sonko’s memorandum. He noted that the case is meant to intimidate them into impeaching Sonko.
It was difficult for a witness, Kahawa MCA, Joseph Komu to explain whether there was a party position with respect to the budget.
Thumbi said there was none as there was no party caucus meeting.
Committee Chair Lumatete Muchai put the County Assembly leadership on the limits of party position and a person’s constitutional right to go to court.
“Should we punish them for exercising their constitutional right to go to court?” Muchai asked.
Jagero told the committee she has no reason to defy the County Assembly and the party’s leadership and that the case is because they spoke their minds.
“I don’t know how I undermined the party’s leadership. There was no communication from the party on the budget, this has been used as a tool of intimidation by party leadership in the Assembly,” Jagero said, adding that she understands the importance of loyalty and discipline.
The committee chair said they will consider the matter and Kados noted that the party’s position will be relayed through its official group after a meeting at the Headquarters.