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Chaos in Kisumu as embattled Speaker Oloo fights to survive

Wednesday September 18 2019

Kisumu Speaker chaos

Some of the police officers who were sent to the Kisumu County Assembly precincts on September 18, 2019, when embattled Speaker Onyango Oloo attempted to enter the premises. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RUSHDIE OUDIA
By RUSHDIE OUDIA
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Teargas fumes, torn blazers and fist fights marked an attempt by ousted Speaker Onyango Oloo to enter the Kisumu County Assembly on Wednesday morning.

Accompanied by his supporters, Mr Oloo stormed the assembly precincts and tried to gain entrance but the attempt was quickly thwarted by police.

The group was dispersed by anti-riot police deployed to avert violence.

In the ensuing melee, the assembly's sergeant at arms, under the protection of police, rushed to secure the mace and took it to Central Police Station for safekeeping, following fears that Mr Oloo’s group might take off with it.

The mace symbolises the authority of the assembly or Parliament.

BARRICADE

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At the gate of the assembly and the Speaker's offices, Mr Oloo’s group encountered ward representatives and youths who stood guard to ensure he did not gain access.

The MCAs said they had instructions from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to block the embattled Speaker from entering the assembly.

"We have no problem with Oloo. Let him be cleared by both the party and the courts then we will gladly receive him," said Seth Kanga, Milimani Market Ward Representative.

But Mr Oloo maintained that he is the substantive Speaker accusing MCAs of throwing him out without following procedures.

"I am still the Speaker. The actions the MCAs are engaged in could be challenged in court. They need to follow the right procedures even if they want to impeach me," he said.

RESHUFFLE

Mr Oloo made the attempt a day after MCAs made good their threat to reshuffle the assembly's leadership and ousted his cronies.

On Tuesday, Kondele MCA Joachim Oketch formally tabled a motion to impeach the besieged Speaker who has been barred from accessing the House since last week.

The MCAs replaced Chief Whip Gard Olima with seasoned politician and former mayor Prisca Misachi. The Kaloleni/Shaurimoyo Ward Representative is to be deputised by nominated MCA Jenifer Obonyo.

Mr Olima, a close ally of Mr Oloo, was one of the MCAs who were physically removed from House when chaos erupted last week.

Mr Jacktone Ogendo of Nyalenda A was elected to deputise majority leader Mr Kenneth Onyango, who was spared having been on the side that ousted the Speaker.

Nominated MCA Inviolette Adhiambo, who presided over Mr Oloo’s ouster was rewarded with an appointment to the Speaker’s panel alongside East Seme MCA Seth Okumu and his counterpart Mrs Caren Muga.

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o distanced himself from the chaos in the assembly.

PRECEDENT

On Wednesday, Mr Oloo maintained that his case was different from those of others who have been barred from accessing their places of work.

"My case in court involves the Lake Basin Development Authority, and unlike that of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu who was barred from accessing his office which is a crime scene, I have not been blocked from going to the assembly," said Mr Oloo.

Mr Oloo also spoke of Migori, where despite having a criminal case in court, Governor Okoth Obado still accesses his office because the scene of crime was in Homa Bay.

"Whatever God and ODM gave me, I will not relinquish it to the devil. If I am found guilty, I will not burden the people of Kisumu; I will gladly vacate office."

Meanwhile, the acting Speaker continued to preside over the House business after the mace returned from the police station.

MCAs Steve Owiti, Kolwa East and his nominated counterpart Aslam Khan took oaths of office as the budget chair and deputy respectively.

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