BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,11TH SEPT 2018-Nairobi County Assembly wants the Labour Court to lift orders which shielded speaker Beatrice Elachi from impeachment. The assembly through Senior lawyer Prof. Tom Ojienda argued that the case filed by Elachi was defective as she had not sworn an affidavit to support it.
Instead, the court heard, it was her personal assistant James Macharia who swore and signed the affidavit. The case was before Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Stephen Radido. “The application is defective, bad in law and for striking out,” Ojienda argued. Prof Ojienda also argued that the court did not have powers to stop impeachment.
The lawyer says the court could only intervene after Elachi was kicked out. “The court had no powers to intervene within the process of the assembly. The Assembly is an independent body whose decisions can only be challenged at the tail end of the process,” he argued.
The lawyer cited Embu Governor Martin Wambora’s case, which the Supreme Court declared that he had been properly impeached by the assembly as it maintained independence from control by Judiciary.
The lawyer observed that the majority of Members of County Assembly had spoken adding that their voice could not be challenged before a court of law. “We cannot judicialise politics,” he argued. Lawyer Ojienda also argued that Elachi was properly impeached as the orders of the court halting the process were served a day after a majority MCAs decided that she should leave office. At least 103 MCAs voted in favor of impeachment against two who objected.
In reply, Elachi’s lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui said that she could not have sworn an affidavit as she was attending a devolution conference in Malindi. The county, according to lawyer Kinyajui required her to come to Nairobi within hours which was impossible. “There was a handicap in terms of location. She was attending a conference the same time she was required to attend impeachment,” lawyer Kinyajui argued. According to Kinyanjui, the removal of a speaker is not a political process but a legal court. Kinyanjui said that court was justified to intervene. He claimed that she was not given sufficient notice or an opportunity to rebut the allegations which were leveled against her. The judge heard that altough the court gave orders, the MCAs we ahead to physically kick out Elachi yesterday. “I have not heard anything that we will comply with your orders.My lord you are required to inquire whether they have complied with your orders. I urge this court to extend orders and also order that they should be complied with,” he argued.