, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – A special council meeting convened to endorse the date for the Nairobi mayoral elections aborted when a group allied to the Deputy Mayor John Njoroge Chege and other mayoral candidates insisted on a date favourable to all candidates.
The meeting degenerated into chaos, bringing business to the busy council to a standstill and forcing Town Clerk Philip Kisia to intervene with calls for decorum.
During a charged informal meeting at the Mayor’s parlour last Tuesday, councillors backing Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa’s re-election had unanimously proposed August 10 as the date for the elections.
However, the date was opposed by a majority of councillors during the special meeting called to endorse the date. Mr Kisia said that in times of crisis, councillors should demonstrate leadership qualities.
Mr Majiwa, who was chairing the meeting, stood up and called off the meeting, further throwing it into disarray, which degenerated into name calling.
Councillors drowned his voice charging to where Mr Majiwa, Mr Kisia and Deputy Town Clerk Geoffrey Katsolleh were seated. Mr Kisia then sought consultations from his acting director of legal affairs Iha Karisa, then stood up and said that if their was a counter proposal to the date, then another one agreeable to all parties should be set to resolve the prevailing stalemate.
Umoja One councillor George Theuri (PNU) counter proposed the August 10 date saying the elections should be brought forward to July 27. ODM councillors in Mr Majiwa’s camp seemed uncomfortable with the new date, with a heated debate ensuing again.
Council askaris, who were manning the corridors, stormed the meeting room as the shouting match persisted, before Mr Kisia proposed another special council meeting to be held next Monday.
However, he was shot down again by nominated councillor Mutunga Mutungi (PNU) who argued that the proposal should come from a council member. Mayor Majiwa then endorsed that the meeting be called next Monday, which was supported by all the councillors.
The councillors left the meeting room, having once again, in their characteristic style, differed on an election date.