NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – There was a stand-off between the Nairobi County Government and the County Assembly Thursday morning over office space.
Trouble started when officials of the County Government tried to break into the Northern Wing of City Hall which both are laying claim to.
Armed with a court order, officers from the County Executive sort to break down the entrance door to the wing but were blocked by the Sergeants at Arms who were led by Speaker Alex ole Magelo.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Magelo vowed that nobody from the Executive would be allowed inside the building since it was gazetted as Assembly property and emphasised that they were ready to defend it by force if need be.
“You are not going to enter this place and what you can do is to shoot us here because (Governor Evans) Kidero has told you to come and destroy the County Assembly. As long as I am the Speaker of this County Assembly, you are not going to enter this place,” the Speaker stated.
“I know you have instructions from Kidero and he knows very well that even where he sits, it is the place that was given to the County Assembly by IEBC,” he said.
Magelo further accused Governor Kidero of operating with impunity and announced the suspension of debate on the Supplementary Budget with immediate effect.
“I want to state here and now that the Supplementary Budget has now been suspended and I am the Speaker of this place. I know he doesn’t like it but whether he likes it or not, I am the Speaker of this Assembly,” he said.
“We the County Assembly members are meeting in our committees at 680 Hotel spending taxpayers money because they have taken over Charter Hall where we used to have rooms. We have even asked them to move from the basement so that we can make modern committee rooms because we have not room.”
He emphasised that the County Assembly will not be bullied into moving out of the wing.
“We are not moving from here, this is our place. He comes here to bring officers to shoot my Sergeants at Arms. What kind of a leader is that, coming with guns in the morning to come and harass workers?” he posed.
He explained that the County Assembly had given in to many demands by the County Executive but they would not budge on this issue.
“We are trying to squeeze ourselves in a corner and there is a man sits down there and thinks he can bulldoze and bully us. That is unacceptable and we are not going to condone it,” he said. “It is an unfortunate incident where Kidero wakes up from the blues and decides that he wants to do what he wants to do!”
The County Executive had obtained a court order that barred the County Assembly from denying them access to the building wing but when County Secretary Robert Ayisi was sort for comment, he declined.
“It is hereby ordered that the grant of leave to operate as a stay to stop the respondents and any of their members, staff or associates from interfering with the Nairobi City County Executive staff from accessing and performing their duties within the part of City Hall building known as the Northern Wing and occupied by the Rating and Audit Departments pending hearing and determination of the motion or further orders from this court,” the orders stated.