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November 15, 2018

Why Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi has been impeached

Nairobi county assembly speaker Beatrice Elachi on the floor of the house after being sworn in. /FILE
Nairobi county assembly speaker Beatrice Elachi on the floor of the house after being sworn in. /FILE

Nairobi speaker Beatrice Elachi has been impeached.

Some 103 MCAs voted to remove her from office, two voted against while two others abstained.

The MCAs removed her for causing 'great embarrassment' to the county assembly.

In a motion by Waithaka MCA Antony Kiragu on Thursday, the MCAs accused Elachi of gross misconduct. 

Kiragu spoke when they held a special sitting to discuss Governor Mike Sonko's conduct and the speaker's impeachment.

"Her actions and omissions have caused embarrassment and brought the office of the speaker into disrepute," he said.

The MCAs wanted Elachi removed on the following grounds;

Conflict of interest.

In the controversial purchase of the residence of the holder of the office of the speaker, she is accused of actively interfering, threatening, bullying and intimidating staff to have a party.

This was despite having failed the mandatory criteria for the award of the tender and having quoted Sh125 million when the recommended price was Sh100 million.

She is also accused of creating a markup of Sh25 million above what the market report recommended, evidence of which, they say is available from procurement records audio recordings.

Undermining County Assembly Board

The MCAs said Elachi's actions and omissions by undertaking the functions of the Board and inviting investigators to probe the conduct of officers of the county assembly was illegal and disrespectable.

This, they said, is despite her not having been in a board meeting to address the said matters.

Abuse of Office/Gross misconduct

The motion notes that Elachi inappropriately spent public funds on a trip to Dubai, to ostensibly receive a "fake Honorary Doctorate Degree" from the “London Graduate School"

She is also accused of making payments of Sh550,000 from taxpayers' cash for a suspicious “Dubai Leadership Summit".

"She got payment through intimidation and improperly to fund her deceptive personal travels. The evidence is readily available online," the MCA's said in a statement before the impeachment. 

Elachi is also accused of inappropriately spending public funds on dubious trips to Dallas and Texas in the US.

The MCAs claimed to have gone for a Diaspora Women Network conference when in the actual sense she was travelling for plastic surgery and knee surgery. They supported their allegations with a Sh1,000,000 claim from CIC Insurance.

Failure to show leadership 

She is accused of interfering with the Women Caucus elections where she unilaterally cancelled the results and ordered a fresh election.

Elachi is also accused of repeatedly starting assembly proceedings and holding sittings without quorum, contrary to the Standing Orders;

Earlier, Elachi claimed MCAs were pressured to sign a petition for her impeachment. She alleges representatives were threatened that they would miss trips, be de-whipped or removed from committees.

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