The woes between the Nairobi county assembly and embattled Speaker Beatrice Elachi are far from over after a court extended orders barring her removal from office.
The Employment and Labour Relations court yesterday extended the orders issued by Justice Maureen Onyango until Friday when the case will be mentioned.
Last week, the MCAs voted to impeach the speaker who obtained orders barring them from removing her or taking any action until the case is determined.
However, the assembly, through lawyer Tom Ojienda, says Elachi got the orders unlawfully since her application was not merited. Ojienda asked the court to strike out her application.
He said the affidavit used in the motion filed by Elachi was sworn by her personal assistant James Macharia, not the speaker herself. He said there is no competent affidavit before court.
The MCAs said the court had no jurisdiction to stop Elachi’s impeachment, saying it was improper for court to interfere once the process started. “No action, whether civil or criminal, can be brought against the MCAs when they are carrying out their mandate.”
The court heard that the matter before court was political, not judicial, since the speaker is elected by the MCAs, not appointed. Ojienda told Judge Stephen Radido that 103 members out of the 105 present voted to impeach the speaker, which showed they spoke in majority of having no confidence in her leadership.
The MCAs say they have a right to choose who to lead them in the assembly and also have a right to remove that person. But Elachi, through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, said the application has merit. Kinyanjui told the court the reason Macharia swore the affidavit on behalf of Elachi was because she was in Malindi attending a devolution conference and could not make it to Nairobi.