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Nairobi County Assembly Clerk suspended in escalating wrangles

Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Jacob Ngwele who was suspended. /CFM-FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – The leadership wrangles in the Nairobi County Assembly don’t seem to be ending anytime soon, this is after the County Assembly Public Service Board sent the Clerk Jacob Ngwele on 30 days compulsory leave, pending investigations on allegations of sabotaging the Assembly’s operations.

Speaker Beatrice Elachi, who also chairs the board, has accused Ngwele of paralysing the assembly’s operations by asking staff to abscond duty besides failing to attend board meetings.

“We agreed as a board to give our Clerk a compulsory leave from Oct 24 2019. Throughout the duration of this compulsory leave we request that you refrain from visiting the County Assembly,” said Elachi.

This comes even after the Clerk on Tuesday obtained conservatory orders barring the new board that was inaugurated by the Speaker from operating and barring the removal of Majority Leader Abdi Guyo and Minority Leader Elias Otieno from the board.

The two were replaced by their parties, with Jubilee Party replacing Guyo with Maringo Hamza MCA Mark Ndung’u. ODM replaced Otieno with Nairobi West MCA Maurice Gari.

Others who were removed from the board include Adah Onyango Deputy Clerk Nairobi Assembly, Philomena Nzuki Principal Accountant, Nancy Mutai Principal Human Resource Officer and Garvin Castro the acting Principal Clerk Assistant.

Conservatory orders obtained by Ngwele barred the implementation of purported changes in the membership of the board as published by the Speaker through a gazette notice pending hearing of the application on November 11.

“A conservatory order restraining the first respondent (The Speaker of Nairobi Assembly), whether acting directly or through parties , agents and/or proxies, from illegally or irregularly reconstituting the membership of the second respondent (The Nairobi county assembly service board) whether at the behest of the Governor of the Nairobi City County, the Orange Democratic Movement, the Jubilee party or any other person or authority pending the service, hearing and determination of this Application,” Employment and Labor relations judge Onesmus Makau issued the orders.

In the suit Ngwele accused Elachi of aggressively pursuing a malicious scheme of instigating the unlawful and unfair suspension, termination and removal of him and other senior officers and staff of county assembly.

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“The Speaker’s obsessive behavior of incessantly fighting, undermining, intimidating and pushing for the unlawful and unfair suspension, termination or removal of the members of and staff of the assembly from various offices, has created panic, confusion and despondency of the Assembly since August 2018,” Ngwele said in court documents.

Ngwele has however vowed to continue executing his duties as the clerk, saying there was no board to suspend him since there was an injunction in place.

“Her decision is inconsequential and I’ll disregard it and also sue her for contempt of court,” said Ngwele.

Ngwele, who is also the Secretary of the board, said there was no way a board can sit without a Secretary hence terming the decisions of the board null and void.

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