Speaker to stay in offi ce until her petition is heard

Homabay speaker Elizabeth Ayoo in a past briefing.
Homabay speaker Elizabeth Ayoo in a past briefing.

Impeached Homa Bay county assembly speaker Elizabeth Ayoo (pictured)will stay in office until her petition is determined, a court ruled yesterday.

Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Nduma Nderi ruled that no one should interfere with her terms and conditions of service.

He extended the orders given by Justice James Rika last year when Ayoo was impeached.

Ayoo was impeached on November 1. MCAs said her integrity had become questionable.

The Kisumu court reinstated her on November 6 and barred the MCAs and County Public service Board from appointing any other person as speaker until her petition is determined.

The respondents are the county PSB, county assembly and the clerk.

During the hearing of the application last year, Ayoo’s lawyer David Otieno said the orders were ignored and asked the court to punish the respondents for contempt.

He said Ayoo had been barred from doing her work.

“The clerk, Daniel Kaudo, is in contempt of court. We expected that having been served [with] the orders he would stop any activities that might interfere with the speaker but he instead went ahead to swear in Evans Marieba as the acting speaker,” Otieno said.

But lawyer Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay MP) said sworn affidavits indicated that the court’s orders were served to the acting clerk after the swearing-in of the interim speaker.

He said the substantive speaker was never replaced but members elected a temporary speaker to preside over the plenary sessions in her absence.

Nderi barred the clerk from interfering with Ayoo’s duties. “The petitioner is to be fully facilitated by the respondents and clerk to her office in the assembly without interference,” he said.

Nderi said the assembly’s serjeant-at-arms had been enjoined in the case to ensure the orders are respected.

The hearing continues on March 5