BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,29TH OCT 2019-Rival groups of lawmakers in the Nairobi County Assembly clashed Tuesday afternoon ahead of a session during which a faction had vowed to impeach Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi.
Tussle begun when MCAs in support of Elachi interrupted a press briefing called by those in support of Majority Leader Abdi Guyo who wants her impeached.
The Guyo-led faction however declared that the impeachment motion was on and shortly after, chaos broke after Elachi’s supporters hurled objects at them before physically dragging them out.
The group supporting Elachi was the first to address within the Assembly precincts, where they were reacting on the planned fresh impeachment of Speaker Elachi, which was announced by the Guyo-allied group on Monday.
Nairobi West MCA Maurice Gari, also a member of the County Assembly Public Service Board said that no ODM member will sign up for the Elachi impeachment motion.
“As ODM members we support the party position that Elachi is the legitimate Speaker, no member will go against that,” said Gari.
Embakasi Ward MCA Michael Ogada singled out those fighting Elachi as opponents of the handshake, the March 2018 unity deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Leader Raila Odinga.
MCA Ziwani-Kariokor Ward Millicent Mugadi faulted those seeking Elachi’s impeached for mounting roadblocks against women in leadership.
“As women in the Assembly we will firmly stand behind Elachi, she was brought here by the court and all members must respect that,” said Mugadi.
Another MCA claimed lawmakers were coerced to impeach Elachi last year.
“Last year’s impeachment was full of threats and intimidations from our majority leader, now we say enough is enough we need sanity in this assembly,” said Patricia Mutheu MCA Mlango Kubwa.
Hamza MCA Mark Ndung’u questioned the motive behind impeaching Elachi even after the party gave a directive on the matter.
“We met at the party headquarters and the decision was Elachi is the Speaker, am now wondering why some members have chosen to go against the party’s decision,” said Ndung’u.
Chief Majority Whip Waithera Chege who was leading the group seeking Elachi’s ouster on Tuesday said a notice of impeachment motion had already been forwarded to the Assembly Clerk who will verify the signatures before allotting it in the order paper.
Chege had displayed signatures of 67 members on Monday who she said had signed on the impeachment of Elachi, hence attaining the requirement for a censure motion.
She also said a court order had been obtained barring Elachi from presiding over Tuesday’s session.
“We will be present at the plenary this afternoon, but we will not allow Elachi to preside over, it’s either the Deputy Speaker or one member of the Speakers’ panel,” said Chege.