MCAs tear at each other over Assembly nominee

Mace seized, lights switched off as ward reps exchange blows

In Summary

• Mayhem as MCAs engage in a fist fight to protest the swearing in of a nominated member

• Executive accused of usurping the authority of the 11-member House Business Committee

Meru MCAs were at war with each other on Thursday over the swearing-in of a nominated representative.

The ward reps accused County Speaker Joseph Kaberia of provocation when he said the highlight of the House business was to swear in Kenya Patriots Party (KPP) nominee Secondina Kanini.

The MCAs accused the executive of usurping the authority of the 11 members of House Business Committee as it had not approved the nominee. 

They shouted and chanted anti-Speaker expletives. Some snatched the mace from the sergeant at arms, as others locked the chamber's doors and threw water bottles and other objects at the speaker.

Lights were switched off the lights as the MCAs engaged in a fist fight. Meanwhile, the speaker sneaked from the chamber and locked himself in his office. 

Deputy speaker Elius Murega took charge and called for order. 

Calm eventually returned but no business was transacted.

Majority leader Karithi Mutuma (Athwana MCA) said the fight was all about the control of the chamber. “They rejected the speaker and no business of the day could proceed.” 

Kaberia told journalists in his office that the swearing-in was not political and that he was adhering to a court order that Kanini should be sworn in.

“I am not a member of JP, PNU or KPP. As per the law, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gazetted Kanini on April 5, 2019. I communicated this to the Assembly on Tuesday and House Business Committee agreed she be sworn. It was in Tuesday’s order paper.

"I later got a court order suspending her swearing in and today I got another one that quashed the first order. Mine is to implement the order,” Kaberia said.