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High Court stops suspension of Isiolo minority leader

Friday November 01 2019
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Isiolo County Assembly. The High Court has stopped plans to replace the Isiolo County Assembly minority leader Ali Dima Duba, pending a petition he has filed. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By WAWERU WAIRIMU

A Nairobi court has issued orders barring the Isiolo County Assembly from electing a new minority leader following the de-whipping of Charri ward rep Ali Dima from the position by Speaker Hussein Roba two weeks ago.

The High Court in Milimani issued the orders restraining the county assembly from removing Mr Dima and his Sericho counterpart Nura Diba from respective positions in the assembly committees until the application, by the duo, is heard and determined.

“Orders are hereby issued maintaining the status quo and restraining the County Assembly of Isiolo from electing new minority leader and removing the applicants from their respective positions in House committees,” the orders issued by Justice James Makau on Thursday read in part.

The court also quashed the 28-day suspension of the MCAs from the House sittings and committee activities by Mr Roba.

The judge also directed that the application be certified as urgent and its hearing and determination done on priority basis owing to the urgency.

The MCAs were on October 16 thrown out of the chambers for trading barbs with the Speaker minutes after the House rejected Ekuru Aukot’s Punguza Mizigo constitutional amendment bill.

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A heated exchange ensued after nominated MCA Ajira Abdi (Jubilee Party) raised concern that Mr Dima (ODM) occupied the Minority leader’s seat illegally as was not a member of the party as required by law.

Then, Mr Roba previously maintained that Mr Dima did not qualify as a member of the second largest party or coalition of parties but the Charri MCA insisted that it was the prerogative of the party to choose the minority leader.

Mr Dima cried foul accusing the Speaker of intimidating him for his strict stand on accountability and for demanding copies of expenditure reports which should be submitted on quarterly basis, allegations that Mr Roba dismissed.

The ODM party last week protested the de-whipping accusing the Speaker of making obscure decisions.

“The Speaker cannot just make obscure decisions and purport to declare the Minority leader’s seat vacant,” the Party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna told the Nation.

The party has already written to the Speaker, letter dated October 22, demanding copies of the Hansard for October 16 and 17 when the events took place.

A court process server was on Friday treated to rude shock after staff at the County Assembly offices declined to receive the order forcing him to leave the documents on the table.

“I have done my work and though they have resisted picking the document, I have left the copies at the offices,” said the officer who sought anonymity.

The case will mentioned on November 6 for further directions.

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