NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – Nairobi Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi’s return to office following her impeachment last week hit a snag on Monday after Members of County Assembly stormed her office insisting that she vacates.
A chaotic exchange ensued between Elachi and a section of county lawmakers forcing top House leadership to call for a close-door meeting during which the embattled Speaker was prevailed upon to leave the precincts of the Assembly.
Nairobi County Assembly Minority Whip Peter Imwatok told the press Elachi had accepted the proposal but her departure from the office could not be independently verified.
“She accepted that the members in the office should move out so that she is escorted by House Majority and Minority leaders. She however walked into the washroom and it has been closed for an hour now; she is yet to come out,” Imwatok indicated.
“We have resolved to allow the intervention of security agencies so that they’re cleared to come into the precincts of the House so that they can try and get the Speaker to come out of the washrooms,” he said.
During Thursday’s impeachment, 103 against two members voted for Elachi’s removal with two abstaining.
Following her impeachment, Elachi secured orders staying her removal from office pending the hearing of her petition by the Labour and Employment Relations Court on Tuesday.
The conservatory orders stopped the Assembly from removing Elachi or appointing her replacement whether on a temporary or acting capacity.
In an earlier interview with Nation TV, Elachi said she was being targeted as a result of a firm stance she had taken in ongoing efforts to fight graft at the City Hall.
“It is unfortunate that I have to go through this because of dealing with corruption. If this is how we have to fight it, I only have one thing to save – my name,” she said.
Elachi wondered why the county lawmakers had changed tune on an ongoing corruption case against County Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele yet Jubilee Party leaning members had called him out on graft during a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“These members are the very people who said their clerk is corrupt. It is from our internal audit that allegations against Ngwele were obtained,” the Speaker explained.
Ngwele had stepped aside in June following a request by the County Assembly Service Board when he became a person of interest in an investigation over the purchase of the speaker’s official residence.