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IN BED WITH EXECUTIVE

Mombasa MCAs want committees restructured

One committee chair faces vote of no confidence today

In Summary

• MCAs say committee chairs serve the interests of those who placed them at the helm’.

•Those who failed to vote against executive Balala are committee chairs 

Tudor MCA Tobias Samba
'BALALA IMPEACHMENT': Tudor MCA Tobias Samba
Image: BRIAN OTIENO

Mombasa MCAs have denied targeting Governor Hassan Joho's loyalists who either defended Transport executive Tawfiq Balala or failed to vote him out. 

The loyalists, who are incidentally chairs of county assembly committees, have been accused of serving the interests of those who placed them at the helm.

Tudor MCA Tobias Samba said the committees were not appropriately constituted as the chairs were imposed. 

“The law says the members are the ones who elect chairs. So, if you want the chairmanship, you have to lobby. But we never lobbied. They were brought. We were given a list of people we were supposed to elect as chairs,” he said. 

“That is why most of the chairs are failing in their duties. They are going to bed with the executive." 

MCAs on March 20 voted to remove Balala from office, accusing him of incompetence and arrogance. 

They defied Joho who made last-minute attempts to persuade them to drop the motion.

However, their bid failed after the five-member committee formed to probe allegations against the executive took him off the hook on grounds of insufficient evidence to pin him down. 

Angry MCAs then turned their guns on those whose defended Balala or failed to vote for his removal. 

However, on Sunday, several of these MCAs said they were misunderstood. 

“This matter (Balala impeachment) has been misunderstood. We are fighting for the interests of our affairs and those of our people,” Samba said.

He said the MCAs are yet to receive a Sh5 million loan they are supposed to get. 

He said most of the projects whose implementation they have proposed, including the upgrading of small feeder roads, are not being implemented. 

One of the MCAs, who sought anonymity, lay the blame on the committee chairs, saying, “We approve budgets for upgrades of roads, nothing is done. The street lights are nowhere to be seen."

Another vocal MCA told the Star that these are the things that angered them and prompted the impeachment motion against Balala. 

Last week, Youth and Sports committee chairman Moses ‘Civiliser’ Aran was served a letter of an intended vote of no-confidence against him that will be delivered today (Tuesday). 

Aran believes they are being persecuted because of their decision to stand with Joho. 

“There are people who want headlines. They are worried because of our growing influence and popularity,” he said. 

There have been two previous attempts to remove him as the chair of the committee, according to Samba. 

“He has been accused of being very arrogant, proud and has no working programme. He only goes to rallies to take selfies,” Samba said.

The Tudor MCA said his nominated counterpart has not moved any motion in the assembly apart from the People’s Assembly motion.

“It was (nominated MCA Mohamed) Hatimy who gave him that motion to move,” Samba said. 

However, Aran dismissed Samba saying he is seeking sympathy from the people he represents. 

“I have nothing to say to him,” the committee chairman said. 

Others committee heads are Priscillah Mumba (Transport), Amria Juma Boy (Justice and Legal Affairs), Lucy Chizi (Delegated Committee), Maimuna Salim and three others. 

Mtopanga MCA Chizi said, “My conscience is clear. I opposed the impeachment motion for my reasons. I have no reason to fight the Transport executive because the department has been beneficial to my ward.”

Edited by R.Wamochie