UNENDING WRANGLES

City assembly disputes rage over clerk's office holder

A section of Nairobi ODM MCAs urge the speaker to give directions on who should occupy the position.

In Summary

• Deputy clerk is acting as the clerk of the assembly.

• In October, the Employment and Labour Relations Court ruled that the appointment of Jacob Ngwele back in 2014 as the clerk of the assembly was irregular and unlawful.

Nairobi county assembly building
Nairobi county assembly building
Image: FILE

Nairobi county assembly speaker Benson Mutura has urged a section of ODM MCAs to keep off administrative affairs.

This comes after the MCAs, led by Deputy Minority Whip Moses Ogeto, called on the speaker to pronounce himself on the controversy surrounding the office of the clerk.

Ogeto wants Mutura to give directions on who should legally occupy the office of the clerk, following a court ruling delivered last month.

 

"The speaker must respect the courts and we are demanding he implement the directions of the Employment and Labour Relations Court ruled in favour of [Edward] Gichana. The speaker has failed to communicate the recent court ruling on the office of the clerk, leading to more confusion,” he said on Friday.

Last month, the Employment and Labour Relations Court ruled that the appointment of Jacob Ngwele back in 2014 as clerk was irregular and unlawful.

In July, Gichana was sworn in as clerk at a time when wrangles had rocked the assembly pitting former speaker Beatrice Elachi against Ngwele. The same month, the court suspended Gichana’s gazettement.

In August, Justice Maureen Onyango ordered Ngwele to step aside pending the hearing and determination of a case to determine who between him and Gichana was the substantive office holder.

In the meantime, the judge directed deputy clerk Pauline Akuku to take over the functions of the office pending a judgment in October.

Ogeto, of Kilimani ward, threatened that protests will be held this week if the speaker fails to communicate on the occupation of the office. He said his efforts to get answers from the speaker had hit a dead end, claiming he had stood on a motion of privilege at the plenary requesting the speaker's directions.

“The speaker said he would do consultations and address the matter last week but did not. Come this week, it shall be noisy, it shall be messy, it shall be chaotic,” Ogeto said.

 

“Up to today, no communication has been made on the issue and this shows that things are being done un-procedurally.”

Adding her voice to the issue, ODM nominated MCA Mary Arivitsa said officials in the assembly should put their personal and ethnic differences aside and work together for the common good.

She said MCAs have slightly more than one year left to the end of their terms and they should not be roped in meaningless wrangles.

“Justice Maureen Onyango already ruled on the matter of the office of the clerk and we want that ruling implemented. We won't allow interference with the operations in the clerk’s office bring confusion in this assembly,” Arivitsa said.

However, speaker Mutura dismissed the accusation and instead urged the MCAs to keep off administrative issues. He said the house leadership and the assembly board were aware of the court ruling but added that "everything also has to follow the law."

Mutura said that Edward Gichana did not have the right to occupy office as he was appointed while Ngwele's case was still in court. He said the board will deliberate on whether to advertise the position.

"The assembly board is very much aware of the court ruling and as far as we are concerned, there is a vacancy in the office of the clerk. The board will deliberate on whether to advertise the position or which is the best action to take in filling the position of the clerk,” Mutura said.