Chaos rocks City Hall as MCAs fight Beatrice Elachi

Embattled Speaker Beatrice Elachi takes cover inside a toilet.

IN SUMMARY

  • As at 1.45pm, Ms Elachi was still in the toilet.

  • Minority whip Peter Imwatok said the House leadership and security were trying to talk her to come out.

  • He said they were worried that Ms Elachi might decide to do something bad to herself.

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There was chaos at the Nairobi County Assembly on Monday when ward representatives ejected the Speaker from her office.

Enraged Members of the County Assembly stormed Ms Beatrice Elachi’s office minutes to noon when word went round that she had reported to work despite her impeachment late last week.

The MCAs, who were holding an informal meeting at the assembly grounds, stormed the Speaker’s office shouting.

They went to the office and kicked the door open, disrupting an interview.

Ms Elachi's office soon turned into a bedlam as the county lawmakers — more than 40 of them — refused to leave the room, demanding that she leaves "or else it will not be business as usual".

The MCAs pushed and shoved and shouted as they threatened to remove the Speaker from her seat and throw her out of the building.

Elachis Personal Assistant James Mwangi (left) struggles with Nominated MCA Mary Njambi over the speaker's chair on September 10, 2018. PHOTO | COLLINS OMULO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Nominated MCA Mary Njambi attempted to carry Ms Elachi’s seat. She struggled with the Speaker’s personal assistant James Mwangi.

Ms Elachi then sprayed the room with pepper, leaving everyone gasping for air and scrambling for water.

The two-hour chaos, beamed live on TV, persisted as the MCAs stood their ground.

Sensing defeat, Ms Elachi left her seat and got into a room, which the MCAs said was a toilet. They camped outside waiting for her open the door and leave.

A contingent of police officers later arrived and restored some semblance of order.

Some ward representatives pleaded with the officers to check on the Speaker, saying she could "harm herself or even commit suicide".

“The House leadership and security are talking her. We do not want any harm to come to Ms Elachi. Our only aim is to escort her out of City Hall in peace,” Minority Whip Peter Imwatok said.

After the almost two-hour drama, Ms Elachi left her seat and hid in the toilet. PHOTO | COLLINS OMULO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Majority Leader Abdi Guyo and his Minority counterpart Elias Otieno urged Ms Elachi to leave.

“You cannot force yourself on people who have lost confidence in your leadership? We will not allow her back and that is final,” Mr Guyo said.

After hours of arguments between the Speaker, MCAs, police officers and the orderlies, Ms Elachi finally left the building through the basement.

She was impeached by MCAs who accused her of conflict of interest in the awarding of tenders, misuse of public funds, abuse of office and other ills.

However, Ms Elachi — a former senator — rushed to court to block the impeachment, which she was granted until the hearing of her case today.

Waithaka MCA Anthony Karanja Kiragu, the mover of the motion, told Ms Elachi to respect the will of 90 per cent of MCAs who voted for her impeachment.

“She knew about the motion since we have been discussing it. We wish her well,” he said.

SOUR RELATIONS

Ngando MCA Peter Wahinya blamed the strained relation between the Speaker and ward representative on Ms Elachi herself. 

“The natural thing is to surrender. Even if she comes back, our relationship would still be sour,” he said.

Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko said he is ready to bring the two sides to the mediation table but would not interfere with the decision of the county assembly.

He denied reports of having a hand in the removal of the Speaker. 

“I am ready to mediate as I have no problem with Ms Elachi but my hands are tied," the county boss said.

"I do not have powers to reverse the decision of ward representatives. They can even impeach me.”

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