Nyamira MCAs impeach deputy speaker Duke Omoti

A new deputy will be elected on Thursday afternoon.

Nyamira Deputy Speaker Duke Omoti. He has been impeached over abuse of office accusations. PHOTO | RUTH MBULA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • Mr Omoti was accused of misuse of power, incompetence, malice, pride and general abuse of office.
  • Nominated MCA Fredrick Mosiori said the Mr Omoti deliberately fouled the name of the Speaker in public.

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Nyamira Deputy Speaker Duke Omoti has been impeached by county assembly members over abuse of office claims, piling questions on the legality of post in the devolved system.

Assembly Clerk Duke Onyari on Wednesday confirmed the impeachment had been passed through a motion of no confidence that was tabled by nominated MCA Abel Mose.

"He has been impeached. That is all I can say," Mr Onyari said.

A notice of motion was drafted on Tuesday and approved by the Speaker, Mr Moffat Teya.

ACCUSATIONS
Mr Teya said the members on Wednesday unanimously endorsed the motion that indicted Mr Omoti of misuse of power, incompetence, malice, pride and general abuse of office.

"The ward representatives who have the sole mandate of choosing their leadership in the assembly said they want to be respected. A new deputy will be elected on Thursday afternoon," he said.

Even in this impeachment, questions had been raised on whether deputy speakers are protected in law.

Last month, two high court judges dealing with questions on the same ruled the post is not a "creature of law".

UNCONSTITUTIONAL
In an earlier case, Justice Francis Gikonyo had declared the position null and void in Meru.

Judge Gikonyo ruled that the Standing Orders of the Meru County Assembly, which created the position, contravene the Constitution and County Government Act, 2012.

Later, High Court Judge Kanyi Kimondo ruled that the creation, establishment and maintenance of the office in Murang’a is not based on any law.

In the other petition filed against Deputy Speaker Mwangi Kihurunjo, Speaker Leonard Nduati Kariuki and the Murang’a County Assembly, local resident Anthony Mwangi Maina urged the court to declare Mr Kihurunjo’s seat unconstitutional and prohibit him from acting on behalf of the Speaker.

In his ruling, Justice Kimondo issued a permanent injunction restraining any person "from acting or representing himself as, or purporting, to act in the position of the deputy speaker of the county assembly".

RESPECT
In Nyamira, out of the 33 MCAs who voted, only six voted in Mr Omoti's favour; three votes were spoilt.

Mr Mose accused Mr Omoti of being abusive and disrespectful to the Speaker (Mr Teya) and other elected members.

"We still respect him. But he had to relinquish his powers as the deputy speaker because we want a servant leader and not a propagandist," he said.

Nominated MCA Fredrick Mosiori said the Mr Omoti deliberately fouled the name of the Speaker in public.

"For sanity to prevail in this honourable house, the deputy speaker must go to end divisions in this house," Mr Mosiori said.

Ekerenyo Ward MCA Thadeus Nyabaro said Mr Omoti had on several occasions complained of being disrespected by the MCAs.

"When the speaker travelled to Kigali, Omoti was going round telling people he was disrespected as the deputy speaker. This is after the speaker appointed me in acting capacity.

"The seat is too hot for him, after all we want competent personnel," Mr Nyabaro said.

DICTATORSHIP
Magwagwa Ward MCA Fred Omayio however differed with his colleagues, urging them to reconsider the impeachment for the sake of unity.

"I urge our members to reconsider their decision on this motion for the sake of unity in this House. Disagreements are present even in our homes, but chasing your spouse [away] is never a solution," he said.

Mr Omoti blamed his former boss for his woes and accused him of dictatorship.

"My office has been having several challenges that I cannot mention before this House.

"At the same time, I want to warn the incoming deputy speaker to be aware of the challenges he will be facing in that office and also be aware of the dictatorial aspect of our speaker," he said.

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