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Revealed: DCI was probing how MCA Habiba Hussein got the job

Thursday March 12 2020
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Ms Habiba Hussein who lost her seat as a nominated Nairobi MCA. It is now emerging that detectives had in February sought to investigate how she was nominated as a Jubilee Party ward rep. PHOTO | FILE | COURTESY

By COLLINS OMULO
By MAUREEN KAKAH

It is now emerging that detectives had launched investigations into how Ms Habiba Hussein was nominated as a Jubilee Party Ward Rep in the Nairobi County Assembly, even before she was fired.

In a letter dated February 21, 2020, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) asked the clerk of the assembly to provide documents in relation to Ms Hussein's nomination.

“For the sole purpose of carrying out investigations, we are requesting your office to provide this office with all documents … Please treat [this] as urgent. Your cooperation will be highly appreciated,” said the letter signed by Nairobi DCI Regional Coordinator Bernard Nyakwaka.

APPOINTMENTS PROBE

According to the letter, the investigation was part of a wider probe into alleged unethical and corrupt appointment of officials to various positions at the Nairobi City County government.

The crime busters wanted the assembly to provide certified copies of Ms Hussein’s attendance register for the last six months.

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The MCA lost her seat on Tuesday due to absenteeism after Speaker Beatrice Elachi declared it vacant. Ms Hussein had missed plenary sittings for two years.

The Speaker’s decision followed a damning report by the assembly’s powers and privileges committee which recommended that the seat be declared vacant.

AILING

Later, nominated Senator Millicent Omanga accused Ms Elachi and Kitisuru Ward Rep Alvin Palapala of “going to certain lengths just to earn some cheap political mileage out of a tragedy”.

She said Ms Hussein had been ailing and has been in and out of hospital after the loss of her baby who was born with a heart condition.

The nominated senator further said the birth left Ms Hussein with complications.

But, while addressing journalists on Wednesday, Speaker Elachi defended her decision to kick out Ms Hussein.

She confirmed having received the letter from the DCI, adding that she informed the detectives that the assembly instead opted to do an internal investigation.

SALARY STOPPED

She said she told the DCI that they had already removed the MCA from the assembly’s payroll with her last salary of Sh145,000 having been paid in December 2019.

Ms Elachi said she made that decision because the MCA would have been surcharged for the two years she received a salary despite being absent.

“I saved Habiba because she does not have money to refund the assembly for the last two years. I told DCI, ‘your letter has come in late when we are only left with vacating her’,” said Ms Elachi.

The Speaker said they were lenient on Ms Hussein as the assembly’s standing orders state that a member should be expelled after missing eight consecutive sittings without an explanation.

TWO YEARS ABSENT

“She should have come and told us she has a problem. After two years, we don’t even know if she is still alive,” Ms Elachi said.

The Speaker revealed that she even advised Ms Hussein to be writing letters indicating her condition until such a time when she fully recovered and was able to return to the assembly but she never heeded the advice.

Ms Elachi said she received a report of her pregnancy but not about any further complications.

She further said the MCA failed to show up before the assembly’s powers and privileges committee or even write a letter to the committee even after being summoned twice to defend herself.

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