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CITY HALL WRANGLES

NAIROBI: At it again, Assembly-Divided house in the city

At the centre of the stand off is the changes in leadership of Jubilee Party.

In Summary

• A fresh dispute has now emerged among the Nairobi MCAs over FY 2020-21 budgetary allocation.

Dandora Three MCA Charles Thuo addressing the media on June 25, 2020
Dandora Three MCA Charles Thuo addressing the media on June 25, 2020
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

A fresh dispute has now emerged in the County of Assembly of Nairobi over the Financial Year 2020-21 budgetary allocation.

However, at the centre of the stand off is the changes in leadership of the Jubilee Party which were for the third time communicated by the Secretary General Raphel Tuju on June 24, 2020.

The letter was addressed to the interim leadership that had been serving since November 2019 , discharging them from the office.

 

They were led by Dandora Three MCA Charles Thuo (Majority leader), Kairoko MCA Millicent Muagdi (Deputy Majority, June Ndegwa (Majority Whip) and California MCA Hassan Abdiqadir.

“This is to inform you that with effect from May 28, 2020, you have been discharged from your leadership positions on behalf of the Jubilee Party in the County Assembly of Nairobi,” reads the letter

“ Any prevarication on your part to hand over smoothly to the new office bearers will be considered as gross misconduct and may invite sanctions or disciplinary actions from the party,” Tuju added.

In the changes Jubilee reinstated Abdi Ibrahim Hassan as the Majority leader, deputised by Peter Wanyoike, Paul Kados as the Majority Whip and deputised Waithera Chege from taking over office in line with the directions of the party.

However, Speaker Elachi had declined communicating the changes indicating that they were short of the provisions provided in the law.

Nominated MCA June Ndegwa addressing the media on June 25, 2020
Nominated MCA June Ndegwa addressing the media on June 25, 2020
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

Overnight stay

A section of MCAs including Speaker Elachi are said to have spent Wednesday night in the assembly , alleging that there was a plan by their rival MCAs to report to the assembly early Thursday morning in order to block the rest from accessing the precincts.

 

Nominated MCA June Ndegwa accused her counterparts of intending to forcefully take over the offices and of intending to pass the proposed Sh31 billion county budget FY 2020-21 in favour of Governor Mike Sonko.

“The pro- Sonko team wants the budget allocated to Nairobi Metropolitan Service be split by half. They had planned to come early and block the rest of us from accessing the assembly so that they amend the estimates and pass the budget," she said.

Ndegwa also alleged that at 4am goons allied to the rival faction attempted to access the assembly to install the other leadership in office, but were dispersed by the police.

Dandora MCA Charles Thuo alleged that they were being fought because of supporting NMS and the safest place they would shelter was in the assembly.

“We have been getting opposition because of NMS but we are still supporting the office.  I ask Nairobians to forgive MCAs because of fighting every time and at a time when we are fighting Covid-19,” he said.

Mihang'o MCA Paul Kados addressing the media on June 25, 2020
Mihang'o MCA Paul Kados addressing the media on June 25, 2020
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

Diversion tactics

The reinstated Jubilee leadership however, refuted the accusations and accused their counterparts of bringing confusion alleging that NMS was being fought.

Majority Whip Paul Kados said the other MCAs were using diversion tactics to shift the focus from the change of leadership..

“We are not interested in removing the Speaker or fighting NMS as they claim. Speaker’s intention is to weaken the Jubilee side of the house because the party has stood with us,” he explained.

“The former leadership knew that the party expected they hand over the offices today and that is why they slept in the assembly. They have demonstrated disobedience to the party and action has to be taken, “Kados added.

Roysambu MCA Peter Warutere addressing the media on June 25, 2020
Roysambu MCA Peter Warutere addressing the media on June 25, 2020
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

Roysambu MCA Peter Warutere accused Speaker Elachi for disregarding the Jubilee Party changes and fueling the alleged standoff between the assembly and NMS.

He also questioned the interest behind the Speaker not communicating the changes despite the party effecting the changes three times.

“We removed Thuo because he is a weak leader and does not abide by the party. Why does she fear in relation to the party leadership changes. Abdi Hassan is our Majority Leader and we shall support the new leadership, “he noted.

Mlango Kubwa MCA Patriciah Mutheu stated that the legislators were being subjected to discrimination

“ Why would the speaker block some section of MCAs from accessing the assembly. Why would they pass a budget that cannot be debated?”Mutheu questioned.

Waithaka MCA Anthony Kiragu refuted claims that the Jubilee MCAs were fighting budget allocation to Nairobi Metropolitan service.

“They are creating a false story trying to portray that we are against NMS and that the County Government is at war with NMS. Our President was very clear on NMS and the Governor is also in support,” he said.

Unlawful budget proceedings

Budget Committee Chairman Robert Mbatia explained that it would be unlawful for the assembly to pass it ,noting that it had gaps on the revenue projections.

He noted that the committee had scheduled a meeting on Friday with NMS and KRA where all input would be considered before being passed.

“As it is the budget did not have submissions from the sectors and that is why we had scheduled for a meeting tomorrow. What they are doing is totally unlawful,”Mbatia noted.

It was expected that the county budget would be passed next week on Tuesday after input and understanding from the County Executive, NMS and KRA