• "I was more disturbed when the CEC said that he will send goons to kill me and teach me a lesson. I was shocked at his words, given that he kept on repeating them,"
A Bungoma budget meeting on Monday turned chaotic in a Kisumu hotel after an MCA and a CEC rained blows on each other over an impeachment motion.
The fistfight between Bungoma Health executive Antony Walela and Lwandayi MCA Tony Barasa left the CEC with injuries on his cheeks.
Walela was angry with Barasa for sponsoring an impeachment motion against him. The CEC was impeached two weeks ago alongside colleagues Mathews Makanda (Agriculture) and Richard Sabwami (Public Administration) on corruption allegations.
Both Walela and Makanda were invited to Kisumu for the budget scrutiny after the High Court issued conservatory orders against their impeachment on June 22.
Trouble began when Walela started hurling abuses at Barasa. The CEC was seated on a table with his colleague Makanda with Barasa on the other side.
The leaders were taking breakfast before proceedings started.
An agitated Walela hurled unprintable abuses at the MCA, according to a ward representative who was present.
The CEC is also said to have exchanged words with the MCA on why the session was taken to Kisumu instead of being held in a local Bungoma hotel.
Barasa who had all along kept his cool, stood and walked to the wash rooms, ostensibly to ease himself ahead of the session.
However, Walela attacked him again as he returned, hurling abuses at the MCA. It is at this moment that Barasa struck Walela on the chin. The CEC punched back.
The ward rep rained several more blows on face of Walela before Makanda and orderlies rushed to separate them.
Makanda allegedly held Barasa for Walela to hit him before West Bukusu MCA Sospeter Nyongesa and Chwele MCA Barasa Mukhongo came to the rescue of Barasa.
Tempers were cooled down by female MCAs led by Jane Chebet (Cheptais) and former Majority leader Florence Wekesa (Maeni).
Thereafter, the meeting continued albeit with tension.
Speaking to the Star on phone after the incident, Barasa said he lost his cool after Walela threatened him with death.
Barasa said that he was irked by Walela's pride and arrogant talk that was demeaning to the people of Lwandanyi whom he represents.
"I was more disturbed when the CEC said that he will send goons to kill me and teach me a lesson. I was shocked at his words, given that he kept on repeating them," Barasa said.
He added, "I told him that there was no malice with me tabling his impeachment motion as I was only doing my oversight role."
"'Look at this useless fellow. He is the one fronting my impeachment, very stupid indeed, in fact he only defeated our candidate in Lwandanyi ward in the last polls with only two hundred votes. Wait and see, we'll take him back to where he belongs since we have many friends in his ward,'" Barasa said the CEC said at him.
He added, "I was shocked by his sentiments and asked him why he brought impeachment issues to the budget sitting."
Barasa said Walela told him that his opponents were going to camp in his ward to ensure he does not get reelected in 2022.
The MCA said Walela's impeachment was a resolution of the county assembly and not an individual. He said the assembly will conduct its oversight role without intimidation.
He said he was ready to initiate another impeachment motion against the executive if the courts quash his removal.
Walela however refuted claims of a fistfight with the MCA, saying they only engaged in a verbal altercation.
“You know very well that I don’t engage in fistfights. It is unfortunate that the MCA wanted to attack me but was stopped by my colleague,” Walela told the Star.
The executive said he had no bad blood against the MCA, saying Barasa was still a young man who didn’t want to take criticism.
There is bad blood between the Bungoma county assembly and the executive. Governor Wycliffe Wangamati has initiated a process to dissolve the government of the fifth most populous county after MCAs threatened to impeach him.
Edited by P.O