13 Azimio-allied ward reps fail to take oath of office in Samburu

Anti-riot police officers. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Thirteen members of the Samburu County Assembly failed to take the oath of office after they were locked out.

The Azimio la Umoja allied MCAs claim a scheme was hatched to bar them from accessing the assembly for fear that being the majority, they were to elect a speaker from their side.

Nominated MCA Osman Duba in an interview with The Standard said they found the door to the assembly chambers locked at around 8am and only those who were in were allowed to vote.

Of the 15 Azimio la Umoja MCAs, only two, he said, were sworn in after they declared their support to the Kenya Kwanza side.

Police officers manning the assembly he said lobbed teargas at them forcing them to flee. "We are yet to be sworn in, 13 of us were locked out of the assembly," he said.

County Assembly Clerk Patrick Leshore confirmed that 13 MCAs were not sworn in.

"That is the position, there was a court order barring the swearing-in of Agnes Wambui a Jubilee party nominated MCAs. The same order was quashed by another and she was to be sworn in," said Leshore.

He said the Azimio MCAs did not want to go in without her as this would have boosted their numbers.

He said the lady was denied entry by some members and a commotion ensued.

Leshore said he tried to negotiate they be allowed to come in but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

"We went on with the swearing in of the other members and the election and swearing in of the speaker," he said.

Asked why the process went on while half of the members were out, the clerk said they were forced.

"We were coerced because we had the top county leadership in the chambers. They should have given us room to do our thing. The leaders were insisting that we should continue with the exercise. We were pushed to the wall," he added.

He said that were it not for the pressure he had he wouldn't have allowed the swearing-in.

Fred Lengees and Jackson Lelenkeju were elected speaker and deputy speaker respectively with each getting 13 votes.

Leaders present at the chambers are Governor Lati Lelelit, Women Rep Pauline Lenguris, Senator Steve Lelegwe, and Samburu north MP Eli Letipila

Governor Lelelit in a press brief vowed not to allow Wambui to be sworn in adding that she is not a voter nor a resident of Samburu County.