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Court orders reinstatement of 12 ousted Kirinyaga MCAs

Monday August 19 2019

Kirinyaga MCAs

Lawyer Ndegwa Njiru addressing the press at the Kirinyaga County Assembly on August 19, 2019. He is representing 12 elected MCAs who were ousted as chairmen of key House committees. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE MUNENE
By GEORGE MUNENE
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Twelve embattled elected members of the Kirinyaga County Assembly who were ousted as chairmen of key house committees got a reprieve on Monday after the Kerugoya High Court ordered their reinstatement. 

Justice Lucy Gitari ordered that status quo remains until the petition challenging the removal of the ward representatives filed in court is heard and determined.

ORDERS

Accompanied by their lawyer, Mr Ndegwa Njiru, the MCAs moved to court in the morning where they filed the application, prompting the court to issue conservatory orders restraining the assembly clerk Kamau Aidi from interfering with the positions of the applicants in the house.

The Attorney-General was also named as the third respondent in the civil suit. Justice Gitari directed that the hearing of the petition be fixed when the court, which is in vacation, resumes its sitting.

Moments later, the MCAS and their lawyer stormed the office of the Clerk and served the suit legal orders to his deputy Mr Ibrahim Mutuiri.

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In their affidavit, the MCAS argued that there was no public participation when they were ousted and replaced with their nominated colleagues.

They also claimed that their removal was illegal since Speaker Mr David Githanda had already resigned when the controversial polls, which threw them out, were conducted in the Assembly.

The MCAS insisted that their removal was politically motivated. They vowed to continue with their legal battle until justice is done.

The ward reps were voted out and replaced by their nominated colleagues.

PRESSURE

The elected members had been piling pressure on the executive to ensure speedy implementation of development projects.

Most of those who took over the positions were female nominated MCAS who had been complaining of gender imbalance in the formation of the committees.

Agriculture committee chairman Baptisa Kanga and his health counterpart, Friedrick Bundi were the first to be voted out.

Mr Kanga's position was taken over by nominated MCA Caroline Muriithi while Mr Bundi was replaced by Ms Lucy Njeri, also a nominated MCA.

The powerful finance chairmanship seat was taken over by Mr Kefa Mugambi after Mutithi Ward Rep Peter Njomo was kicked out.

Others dislodged were the Tebere Ward Rep Gudson Muchina and his Thiba ward counterpart Pius Njogu who headed the Delegated Legislation and Welfare Committees respectively.

Mutira ward rep Kinyua Wangui who was the Implementation Committee chairman was also not spared.

MAJORITY LEADER

The ousted MCAs attributed the woes facing the Assembly to Majority Leader Kamau Murango.

"The majority leader is making it hard for the Assembly to conduct its business and he must go," said Mr Kanga.

Mr Kanga said an Agriculture Committee's report questioning the purchase of cows at Kamweti Agricultural Institute at Sh400,000 each disappeared mysteriously from the Assembly before it was discussed.

"We are exposing scandals, that is why we are being fought. We shall not be cowed by anybody," added Mr Kanga.

Efforts to obtain comments from Mr Murango were fruitless.