Nairobi MCAs have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and help save the county assembly from sliding back to chaos as the rift between them and Speaker Beatrice Elachi escalates.
The plea comes amid a fresh falling-out between Ms Elachi and a section of ward representatives who have accused her of “going rogue”.
The county legislators have put the Speaker on the spot, saying she has been threatening them by invoking the name of the President in order to achieve her agenda, engaging in illegalities and driving a wedge between Governor Mike Sonko and Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi.
Led by Maringo/Hamza MCA Mark Ndung’u, the MCAs accused Ms Elachi, together with her cronies, of turning the assembly into a “kangaroo House” run by “cartels”.
He said that the “cartel” has taken over the running of the assembly and is engaging in illegalities under the guise of supporting the NMS and the President, with those opposed to them being threatened that the axe will fall on them.
“We need your intervention Mr President because the person we pledged to support thinking she would restore sanity at the assembly is the one now causing chaos in Nairobi. Even the rift between Governor Sonko and DG Badi has been brought by the Speaker and her cronies from the minority side. What is now going on at the assembly is that your name is being used to commit illegalities,” said Mr Ndung’u.
The latest bone of contention is the passage of a sessional policy paper on revenue collection and management in Nairobi, with the ward representative alleging that NMS used the Speaker and leader from the minority side to introduce “questionable amendments” and ensure the document is approved by the assembly.
“We will not allow to continue being intimidated by someone who is invoking the name of the president for her own selfish interests,” said the MCA.
Roysambu MCA Peter Warutere accused the Speaker of flouting the assembly’s standing orders and procedures and using a handful of MCAs to drive her agenda.
“As elected MCAs, we are not here to act as rubber stamps for illegalities. That is why some of us have chosen to stay away,” said Mr Warutere.
Dandora Area 3 MCA Charles Thuo criticised Ms Elachi for convening two special sittings without following the standing orders.
“This is the second special sitting we are having yet not a single one has been called by either the leader of the majority or minority as dictated by the standing orders of the assembly,” said Mr Thuo.
SPECIAL SITTINGS GAZETTED
However, Ms Elachi defended herself against the accusations, saying she gazetted the special sittings. She added that she also has letters from the office of the majority leader calling for the same.
She, nonetheless, threw another spanner in the works accusing “a few people” of having allegedly been paid by a certain company from Mumbai, awarded a tender to collect revenue for Nairobi County, to “fight her”.
“They may have been part of those who had been paid to come and [cause disruptions] so that this new system by the government does not work,” she said.
On use of the name of the President, she said that she has been reminding the MCAs of the promise they made to President Uhuru Kenyatta during a meeting at State House.
“I don’t think there is anything wrong. We promised the President that we will support him to achieve his legacy. So I always remind them.”
But problems at the assembly run deeper since the Speaker’s return to.
Sharp divisions have characterised the assembly with Ms Elachi clashing with Clerk Jacob Ngwele and reinstated Majority Leader Abdi Guyo.
The speaker has to date declined to effect leadership changes announced by Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju in April, while also falling out with Governor Sonko who played a critical role in her return to office after more than a year out following impeachment in 2018.