NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – Nairobi County Assembly Wednesday indicated it will seek to recover full sum paid as salary to a Jubilee Party nominated Member of County Assembly (MCA) whose seat was Tuesday declared vacant over absenteeism.
Habiba Hussein lost her seat after a committee concluded that she failed to notify the Assembly Speaker of her 2-year absence even as reports emerged that she had been hospitalized for a prolonged period after losing a baby.
Speaker Beatrice Elachi told Capital FM News she was not aware of the MCA’s predicament, and has vowed to engage relevant authorities to ensure all the money paid out to her is recovered because she did not follow procedure.
“This member had 2 years to defend herself and she has never communicated. I’m actually surprised that her medical documents are being released now because I have never seen them,” said Elachi.
Article 194 (1) (b) of the Constitution (2010) states a Member of the County Assembly shall lose the seat if he or she fails to attend eight sittings of the Assembly without permission in writing from the Speaker of the County Assembly.
The Jubilee nominated MCA is said to have never stepped in the Assembly chambers since she was sworn-in in 2017.
The Assembly’s Powers and Privileges Committee stated that despite having invited Habiba to defend herself and explain the reason for absenteeism, she never showed up.
The committee observed that Habiba’s absence for two years amounted to gross violation of the representation of the electorate under the Constitution, Leadership and Integrity Act, Elections Act 2011 and the Assembly’s Standing Orders.
Weighing in on the matter, Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga bashed Elachi for declaring Habiba’s seat vacant yet she has been ‘unwell’.
Omanga, who shared medical reports of the MCA stated that she has been in out of hospital after having suffered challenges following a complicated pregnancy which led to the loss of the baby.
“To me on this particular issue, she comes off as the classic example of women being the worst enemies of their fellow women,” she added.
Omanga claimed Habiba was a victim of ongoing politics in Nairobi, since she is a close ally to the Governor.
“I don’t understand how inhuman, selfish and insensitive some people can get, just to earn some cheap political mileage out of a tragedy,” said Omanga.
Elachi, however, rubbished Omanga’s claim as ‘mere politicking’ adding that the Assembly adheres to the Constitution and is guided by the Standing Orders.