NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 29 – Confusion now surrounds the operations at the County Assembly of Nairobi after Speaker Beatrice Elachi adjourned sittings until September 8 barely hours after Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele issued a notice suspending her from presiding over Assembly affairs until a censure motion against her is dispensed.
In the letter dispatched to the Speaker on Tuesday, Ngwele said he had received a Notice of Motion, sponsored by South B Ward ward representative Waithera Chege, seeking Elachi’s removal on various grounds among them gross misconduct, incompetence and violation of the Constitution.
He notified the Speaker that she has been invited to appear before the County Assembly Plenary on Tuesday, August 4, to respond to the allegations.
“This office, in compliance with the provisions of the said Section 11 of the Act and the Standing Orders, has undertaken a verification exercise for compliance of the Notice of Motion to the Law and the Standing Orders of the Nairobi City County Assembly, I am satisfied that the Motion has met the required minimums for tabling under the Act,” Ngwele stated.
Ngwele, while citing Section 11 (6) of the Act, said Elachi shall not perform any of the functions of the Office of the Speaker pending the resolution of the ouster motion by the County Assembly.
However, the Speaker on her part declared that the Assembly which had begun holding virtual sittings would have to adjourn all its sittings including committees. She claimed the adjournment was necessitated by the need to curb the spread of COVID-19.
She stated that her decision was further informed by the standoff that saw police officers clash with a section of Members of the County Assembly who forcefully stormed the Speaker’s Office in their fresh attempt to serve her with the impeachment notice, which had already been signed by 59 MCAs.
“The Assembly stands adjourned until Tuesday 8, September, 2020. Accordingly, no person shall be allowed in the Assembly precincts apart from a few staff,” stated Elachi.
The running battles with the police left Mlango Kubwa MCA Patricia Mutheu, Nominated MCAs Ann Thumbi and Nancy Muthama seriously injured.