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Elachi shelves Sonko impeachment motion, cites consensus by Assembly Business Committee

While issuing communication on the matter, Nairobi Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi directed MCAs to respect the court decision as they are entrusted with upholding the rule of law/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s censure motion which was set for debate on Tuesday, March 25 has been dropped, days after the court temporarily barred ward representatives from discussing it.

The motion was set to be debated at the floor of the County Assembly after the mover, Makongeni Member of County Assembly (MCA) Peter Imwatok filed a notice on February 25.

While issuing communication on the matter, Nairobi Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi directed MCAs to respect the court decision as they are entrusted with upholding the rule of law.

She further noted that the Assembly’s Business Committee had reached a consensus to halt the process.

“As a law abiding citizen, and given the gravity of the issues this matter has raised, and after consulting the Assembly Business Committee, the proposed impeachment Motion which had been scheduled for consideration during today’s sitting shall stand suspended until I issue further directions,” stated Elachi.

The motion by Imwatok, also the Minority Whip suffered a blow after Labor and Employment Relations Court temporarily barred the County Assembly from deliberating on the matter in a decision rendered by Justice Byram Ongayo on March 2 following an application by Sonko through his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui.

Through his lawyer, Sonko had argued that due procedure was not followed when the motion was being drawn, terming it a sham.

Justice Ongaya ruled that the motion shall not proceed until it is filed in compliance with the Standing Orders of the County Assembly.

Sonko had also argued the motion was not approved by a duly recognized Assembly.

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County Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele is currently out of office after an ad-hoc committee established that he was irregularly employed and thus revoked his appointment.

He however managed to successfully challenge the decision to revoke his appointment in court.

His duties are being carried out by Nancy Muthami who is in acting capacity, whose approval of the said censure motion has been contested.

The recent developments from the Nairobi County Assembly came against the backdrop of a Saturday meeting at State House during which President Uhuru Kenyatta is understood to have asked Nairobi MCAs to discontinue the censure bid.

The President told the city ward representatives to shelve the impeachment plans and focus on service delivery during the said meeting convened to brief them on national government’s takeover of crucial county functions in a deal inked on February 25.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has since vacated orders on a planned inquiry by a Senate joint committee on the controversial takeover of Nairobi county functions by the national government.

READ: Speaker Lusaka halts planned Senate inquiry on Nairobi take-over

While giving the verdict, Lusaka said the initial ruling by his deputy Kindiki Kithure to initiate an investigation on the Nairobi take-over issue would amount to an illegality considering the debate that led to the decision was a motion of adjournment.

“Taking into account the provisions of Senate standing orders 1 and 34 and further taking into account relevant procedures of comparative legislations, I hereby find that no direction can ensue upon the conclusion of a debate on a motion of adjournment on a definite matter of urgent national importance. Accordingly, the earlier directions given on the matter are hereby vacated,” he ruled on Tuesday.

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