TEAR GAS

Chaos in Nyandarua over speaker impeachment

Some MCAs sought to block the speaker from presiding over the House proceedings

In Summary

• Police deployed around assembly, hurled tear gas to quell disturbance.

• Some MCAs tried to block speaker from presiding; aimed to impeach hhim.

 

Police officers lobbing teargas canisters at MCAs.
TEAR GAS: Police officers lobbing teargas canisters at MCAs.
Image: WANJOHI GAKIO

The Nyandarua County Assembly grounds on Tuesday turned into a battlefield as police hurled tear gas at arguing MCAs.

At issue was the alleged impeachment of Speaker Ndegwa Wahoma last Friday. A section of MCAs disputed that.

The House was resuming its sittings after December recess, amid claims by a section of the MCAs that Wahome was impeached and could not preside.

MCAs led by the House Majority leader leader Wambugu King’ori had pledged the speaker should be allowed to preside over any House sitting.

King’ori group’s attempt to hold a 'special sitting' on Tuesday was thwarted by MCAs allied to the speaker. Deputy Speaker Zachary Njeru was roughed up.

The group later held a press conference and said the house had been adjourned until February 26.

It was expected that King’ori’s group would return for vengeance but it was nowhere to be seen.

There was a heavy presence of police allowing MCAs and assembly employees entry into the premises.  

The exact genesis of the problem is not clear. Some observers said it started when police officer hurled tear gas canisters into the offices of the assembly.

 

Police rushing into the county assembly where chaos erupted over house leadership on Tuesday, January 12.
TROUBLE: Police rushing into the county assembly where chaos erupted over house leadership on Tuesday, January 12.
Image: WANJOHI GAKIO

Furious MCAs and employees ran out of offices as police hurled in tear gas canisters chased them and roughed them up in a confrontation.

Assembly Speaker Wahome had just concluded the morning sitting of the House when chaos erupted.

He later convened a press conference and condemned the police action as as comedy, hooliganism and domestic terrorism.

Wahome also accused the proponents of his impeachment motion of violating court orders that had directed the law providing the process of impeachment must be followed to the letter.

He said there were fake gazette notes whose authenticity could not be verified from the government printer’s website.

“They have made nine such notices since December,” he said.

He appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and ensure that there is peace in Nyandarua county.

“The governor shall not be allowed to interfere with operations of the county assembly since I don’t serve under his pleasure anyway. If he wants me impeached, let him have 30 MCAs on his side,” he said.

Twelve of 14 MCAs allied to him also held a press conference and condemned the violence. 

(Edited by V. Graham)