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Oloo fights to maintain grip on speakership as attempt to regain office flops

Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) on September 10 elected an Acting Speaker after ousting Oloo in a dramatic session that saw a section of lawmakers ejected from the Assembly for siding with the embattled House leader/CFM – OJWANG JOE

KISUMU, Kenya, Sep 18 – Embattled Kisumu County Assembly Speaker, Onyango Oloo, on Wednesday maintained that he is the substantive head of the legislative assembly as his attempts to gain access to his office flopped.

Oloo said he could not be barred from office unless found guilty of graft charges facing him.

Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) on September 10 elected an Acting Speaker after ousting Oloo in a dramatic session that saw a section of lawmakers ejected from the Assembly for siding with the embattled House leader.

The majority vote that resulted to the naming of Kisumu North MCA Elisha Oraro as Acting Speaker was premised on Oloo’s arraignment in court over misappropriation of funds when he served as the Chairperson of Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) .

Oloo was on September 9 charged with graft for irregularly sanctioning the variation of the cost for the construction of the LBDA Mall from an initial amount of Sh2.5 billion to Sh4.1 billion.

He is said to have received a Sh17 million bribe to approve the the variation as the Chairperson of the LBDA board.

Police lobbed teargas to disperse the rival formations as Oloo (centre) confronted a section of Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) demanding to be allowed access to his Assembly office/CFM – OJWANG JOE

But appearing in the Assembly on Wednesday, Oloo termed actions by MCAs to remove him from office as an illegality.

“I know of no order at all obtained at that trial court or any other court that boxes me to the corner that I should not attend to my duties,” he said.

He blamed the police of working in cahoots with a section of the Assembly MCAs to deny him entry to his office to continue with his duties.

Oloo further discredited claims that the ODM party leadership was behind hos woes saying he had no differences with the party.

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“A few misguided elements are peddling rumours that the ODM party has blocked me from being the Speaker, that they have directive from the party. Nothing is far from the truth than that,” he said.

He announced that should the court find him guilty over the LBDA saga, he will not, “burden the people of Kisumu to work for them as the Speaker”.

Oloo told the Assembly to bring the motion to impeach him and have him removed procedurally from office after being accorded a chance to defend himself.

“If they get the numbers necessary to impeach me, I will honorably step aside in the interest of our party, until that is done, what they are doing is mere shenanigans that have got no place in our future politics,” he said.

After calm was restored, MCAs who are allied to Acting Speaker Elisha Oraro (pictured) engaged Oloo pleading with him to withdraw from the Assembly precincts for peace to prevail/FILE- Kisumu County Assembly 

Already, Kondele MCA Joachim Oketch has moved a motion to have Oloo impeached with Oloo promising to challenge the move.

“You could see teargas flying right and centre, I will still make attempt to go to my office, I will do it by sweat, I will do it under the water, above the seas, and in the skies, I will go to court, I will go everywhere to ensure nobody trumps on my right as a Kenyan,” he said.

Earlier, Oloo while in the company of a group of youths tried to enter his office when a rival group repulsed them sparking a physical confrontation between the two.

Police lobbied teargas to disperse the rowdy youths.

After calm was restored, MCAs who are allied to Acting Speaker Elisha Oraro engaged Oloo pleading with him to withdraw from the Assembly precincts for peace to prevail.

Kaloleni Shauri Moyo ward MCA Prisca Misachi who was sworn in as the Chief Whip in the ongoing changes in the House leadership told Oloo to retreat and, “recollect himself”.

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“Please, I beg you, just go back and recollect yourself, your presence here is causing chaos,” he told Oloo.

A group of youth arrived at the Assembly ostensibly to man the Speaker’s office from an “unlawful takeover.”

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