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Nairobi Speaker Elachi 'ready' to work with ODM, Jubilee MCAs

Thursday October 17 2019

Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi 

Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi addresses the media moments before dissolving the county assembly at City Hall on October 10, 2019. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

COLLINS OMULO
By COLLINS OMULO
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Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi says she is ready to work with all members of county assembly.

Ms Elachi made the declaration on Thursday, dismissing claims that her return to office was primarily because of the support of ward representatives in the Orange Democratic Movement.

She does not want to be viewed as an "ODM Speaker"; she noted she will work with everyone in the House despite the acrimony that surrounded her return to office after more than a year.

“I am not a speaker of ODM but a speaker of the Nairobi assembly. Not any one side can claim I am its Speaker because when you look back, both sides of the House played a role in my impeachment," she said.

“Nairobi deserves stable leadership. I will respect and abide by the decisions of my party. I am looking forward to a time when both the Assembly and the Executive will work together to deliver services to residents."

Ms Elachi’s remarks came a day after Jubilee Party, through its Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, brokered a truce between warring factions at the assembly.

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She said it is normal to have allies in ODM in the spirit of the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, but noted that this does not mean she will look down upon majority leader Abdi Guyo.

Nairobi county leaders

A file photo of Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi, Governor Mike Sonko, former Education executive Janet Ouko and majority leader Abdi Guyo. PHOTO | COLLINS OMULO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

CALM RETURNS

Meanwhile, calm has returned to the assembly after a week of chaos, with business slowly picking up.

A spot check by the Nation foundsome ward representatives and members of staff going about their duties.

There were no police officers at the assembly precincts as was the case for the better part of the last seven days.

However, the offices of the majority and minority leaders, both whips as well as that of the clerk and the tables and journals office remained closed.

There was broken and unarranged furniture in the majority leader's office and broken pieces of wood were on the floor.

The basement, where committee sittings take place, was empty.

GAZETTE NOTICE

On the door to the chambers was the Gazette Notice Ms Elachi issued last week, suspending sittings until October 29.

Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele has faulted the indefinite adjournment and subsequent gazettement of the resumption date, saying the process lacked legal backing.

Mr Ngwele said an assembly's calendar for the year is determined before sittings begin in January by the House Business Committee, which is allowed to set and manage the same.

This calendar is gazetted by the clerk of the assembly, not the Speaker, he noted.

“Every Gazette Notice is anchored on specific provisions of the law. This one was not anchored on any law. It was based on the October 8 sitting which had no Hansard, minutes or clerks,” he said.

He accused Speaker Elachi of hijacking the assembly calendar, saying only the committee that can change the House calendar subject to MCA's resolutions.

Speaker Elachi dismissed Mr Ngwele’s claims, saying there was quorum when she adjourned the sittings and that she was guided by the law. She advised him to seek redress in court.

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