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September 25, 2018

Not even Raila’s call could save Elachi from Nairobi MCAs’ ire

Nairobi MCAs after impeaching speaker Beatrice Elachi yesterday /JULIUS OTIENO
Nairobi MCAs after impeaching speaker Beatrice Elachi yesterday /JULIUS OTIENO

Nasa leader Raila Odinga yesterday called the leaders of the Nairobi county assembly to stop a motion against the speaker, but not even this was enough to save her neck.

Speaker Beatrice Elachi was impeached yesterday after 103 MCAs voted to remove her from office. Elachi, however, obtained a court order moments later stopping her removal pending a court hearing on September 11.

Read: Court halts Elachi's impeachment as Nairobi County Speaker

But so determined were the MCAs that they amended several sections of the assembly’s Standing Orders to push through the motion.

They amended sections 65 (8), which required the sponsor of the motion to give a three-day notice. They also amended the section that required the formation of an ad hoc committee to probe claims made. The deputy speaker directed that the changes take effect immediately.

The Jubilee and Nasa MCAs unanimously voted to impeach Elachi, who was barely one year in office. Only two members voted in her defence. Two others abstained.

“Yes, as from today, honourable Elachi is no longer the speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly,” deputy speaker John Kamangu declared moments after announcing the results.

Just before the vote, majority leader Abdi Guyo and his minority counterpart Elias Otieno rushed out of the chamber to talk to Raila, who had called minority whip Peter Imwatok.

Raila reportedly asked the duo to adjourn the sitting to allow for consultation. But the members could hear none of it.

They accused Elachi of abuse of office, gross misconduct and violation of the Constitution and the law.

Read: Why Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi was impeached

The MCAs accused her of allegedly quoting in excess of Sh25 million in the purchase of the speaker’s residence, which was valued at Sh100 million.

They said Elachi interfered, influenced and threatened staff to award the tender to a close relative. This, they said, amounts to conflict of interest and violation of Chapter Six of the Constitution.

The MCAs said she sabotaged, undermined and unilaterally undertook the functions of the County Assembly Public Service Board, violating Section 12 of the County Governments Act.

The MCAs said the speaker invited DCI officers to probe officers of the assembly without the approval of the House leadership.

They accused her of unilaterally appointing accounting officers without consulting the board.

“The speaker unilaterally, unprocedurally and illegally usurped the functions of the board, thereby purporting to take certain actions which can only emanate from the board,” Waithaka MCA Antony Karanja, who moved the motion, said.

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