Nairobi MCAs defend Elachi ouster - Daily Nation

Nairobi MCAs defend move to impeach Beatrice Elachi

Wednesday September 12 2018

Majority Leader Nairobi County Assembly Abdi Guyo

Nairobi County Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo (centre) follows proceedings at a Nairobi Court on September 11, 2018 during the hearing of a case in which the assembly asked the court to lift orders which shielded Speaker Beatrice Elachi from impeachment. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAM KIPLAGAT
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Nairobi County Assembly on Tuesday faulted the decision to halt the removal of Speaker Beatrice Elachi, arguing the move amounted to interference with its work.

Arguing before Justice Stephen Radido, the county assembly, through lawyer Tom Ojienda, said no action — whether civil or criminal — can be taken against ward representatives for carrying out their mandate.

He said the MCAs had a right to choose their leader, with 103 members voting to impeach Ms Elachi.

Prof Ojienda added that the matter was a political question and can only be resolved politically and not through a court process.

Further, Prof Ojienda urged the court to strike out the case, saying it was not properly filed.

SWORN AFFIDAVIT

According to the assembly, an affidavit in support of the petition by Ms Elachi has been sworn by her personal assistant, Mr James Mwangi.

"The respondents insist that the dispute can only be resolved politically since she was elected into office and not appointed," Prof Ojienda said.

Through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, Ms Elachi maintained she was properly in court and the court was right in stopping the impeachment, saying MCAs wanted to get rid of her for political expediency and to have her post filled illegally.

FAIR HEARING

Ms Elachi moved to court last week and obtained temporary orders stopping her impeachment.

The Speaker argued that she was not accorded a fair hearing by the MCAs.

In the petition, Ms Elachi said during the impeachment, she was attending a devolution seminar in Malindi, which was presided over by Deputy President William Ruto.

She said by a memo dated September 4, the acting clerk to the county assembly was notified of the travel and approval given for her to attend the meeting.

But while she was away, the assembly purported to summon her to a committee of the whole House.

STANDING ORDERS

The MCAs went ahead to vote Ms Elachi out, accusing her of abuse of office, gross misconduct, conflict of interest and undermining the authority of the county assembly board.

But Ms Elachi has argued that she has never been informed or given sufficient reasons in good time for her impeachment.

She said in the execution of her duties pursuant to standing orders, she has never had any complaints levelled against her, either with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission or any other body.

STRIKE OUT CASE

“Declaration be issued that the purported committee of the house convening on September 6, the county assembly had no powers to constitute offices in the Nairobi city county assembly service board or appoint any person in lieu of my absence,” she said in the petition.

Yesterday, Justice Radido extended the orders to Friday, when he will rule on whether to strike out the case.

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