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December 14, 2018

Paralysis at Garissa assembly amid staff row with speaker

Garissa Township MCA Mohamud Omar adressing the press at the county assembly, Thursday, November 8, 2018. /STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Garissa Township MCA Mohamud Omar adressing the press at the county assembly, Thursday, November 8, 2018. /STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Operations at the Garissa county assembly were paralysed on Thursday following protests by members staff citing Speaker Ibrahim Abbas high-handedness.

The incident comes in the wake of a plan by the MCAs to impeach the speaker on similar grounds. The lawmakers said the assembly leader is disrespectful to them.

The agitated staff vowed to continue with their strike until their grievances are addressed.

Hansard editor Abdullahi Olow said that they want the assembly board to address their matters but the speaker insisted to chair a meeting on the same yet he is the accused.

"How do we present our grievances to a board that the subject of discussion is the chair? I think the speaker is not honest and this displays his arrogance that we have always associated him with," Olow said.

"We wanted to follow the laid down procedures after he (speaker) refused to give us the audience. But he wants to sabotage the whole process and that is why we opted to stay away from our workstations."

Among other grievances the staff wants the board to address is lack of induction courses for newly-employed members of staff whom the speaker has been branding as incompetent.

Coming to the workers' support, Garissa Township MCA and welfare chair Mohamud Omar said that the assembly board must respect and listen to the complains.

Omar said all staff have a right to be treated with dignity and respect noting that they will start the process to remove the speaker and also disband the assembly’s board.

The Garissa incident follows recent similar upheavals in other county assemblies across the country. The latest incident was reported in Homa Bay.

There, MCAs blocked Speaker Elizabeth Ayoo from accessing her office following a court order nullifying her impeachment. 

Nyandarua MCAs are also tussling over leadership positions. The fights have been characterised by fist fights, at times guns brandished as was the case in Kisumu. 

Read: Homa Bay MCAs in fistfight over return of speaker Ayoo

See: [VIDEO] Gunshots at Kisumu assembly as MCAs, sergeant-at-arms fight


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