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House thrown into disarray as Meru MCAs fight over nomination

Thursday April 11 2019

Meru MCAs fight

Scattered order papers at the entrance of the Meru County Assembly chamber on April 11, 2019. The MCAs exchanged blows in the chamber after they differed over the administration of oath to a nominated MCA. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DAVID MUCHUI
By DAVID MUCHUI
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Members of the Meru County Assembly exchanged blows following differences over the swearing-in of a nominated colleague.

Ms Secondina Kanini was expected to take the oath of office Thursday replacing Ms Lucy Waithera, a nominated MCA who resigned from the Kenya Patriots Party (KPP).

But what was to be a peaceful event quickly degenerated into violent confrontation as the sharply divided MCAs took on each other.

Earlier on Tuesday, the swearing-in had been stopped by the courts before another court order was issued on Thursday, allowing the exercise to proceed.

Police armed with teargas canisters kept watch at the assembly until the official sitting hours elapsed.

When Speaker Joseph Kaberia attempted to enter the chamber, he was repulsed by a hail of water bottles hurled at him.

Some MCAs then fell over each other to gain control of the mace leading to an exchange of blows.

CLAIMS

Ntunene MCA Jadiel Mauta accused the speaker of sneaking in the business into the order paper.

"We will not allow a person to be imposed on the house by the executive. We want to stamp our authority. I am a member of the house business committee and administration of oath was not approved," Mr Mauta said.

But Speaker Kaberia said administration of oath does not need approval by the House Business Committee.

"I am adhering to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission which gazetted the nominated MCA," he said.

But several MCAs who spoke to the Nation claimed the nomination of Ms Kanini was being fronted by the executive.

"While KPP is a party aligned to Jubilee, the nomination of the MCA is suspect because she was not in the initial nomination list of the party. We want to restore the honor of this house," an MCA said.

Ms Esther Karimi said they would “deal with the Speaker” if they are not listened to.

"We feel that the Speaker is in bed with the executive. He should listen to us, because we elected him," she said.

Following the scuffle, various vital businesses which were to be dealt with before a short recess remained in limbo.

The assembly was to pass the supplementary budget as well as the County Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2019 before breaking for recess until April 29.

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