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Fist fight between MCA, CEC mars Bungoma County budget meeting

Tuesday June 30 2020
mca

Lwandanyi MCA Tony Barasa who engaged in a fist fight with troubled CEC Antony Walela in Kisumu on June 29, 2020. PHOTO | BRIAN OJAMAA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN OJAMAA

A Bungoma County budget meeting held in Kisumu almost turned bloody on Monday after an MCA and a CEC engaged in a fist fight.

Agriculture, Housing and Health committees had invited Health and Sanitation CEC Antony Walela and his Agriculture’s Mathews Makanda to a hotel in Kisumu for budget interrogation when the fracas happened.

Two weeks ago, MCAs impeached Dr Walela, Mr Makanda and Public Administration CEC Richard Sabwami on accusations of abetting corruption and other vices.

IMPEACHMENT ACCUSATIONS

Dr Walela had been accused of overseeing illegal channelling of Sh6.9 million from Bungoma County Referral Hospital to the Ministry of Finance.

The money was meant for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Mr Sabwami was also accused of returning to the National Treasury money meant for the recruitment of village administrators while Mr Makanda was accused of going against the Employment Act by engaging in politics.

But the CECs have since obtained conservatory orders blocking their impeachment.

On Monday, trouble started after Mr Walela, who was sitting at one table with Mr Makanda began hurling abuses at Lwandanyi MCA Tony Barasa.

BREAKFAST

The two were among other leaders taking breakfast at the hotel before proceeding with the interrogations.

Mr Walela, who seemed annoyed with Mr Barasa, who had brought the impeachment motion against him, kept on using unprintable words against the MCA.

An MCA who witnessed the happenings told the Nation that Mr Walela also kept on asking why the MCAs had taken the interrogations to Kisumu instead of holding the meeting at a hotel in Bungoma which and boost local revenue.

Mr Barasa stood up walked to the washrooms and came back ready to proceed with the meeting but Mr Walela kept on hurling abuses at him.

FIGHTING

Annoyed, the MCA hit Mr Walela and fighting between them ensued.

The ward rep rained several blows on the CEC before a sergeant-at-arms and Mr Makanda rushed to separate the two.

Tempers were cooled down by MCAs led by Cheptais Ward Rep Jane Chebet and former leader of majority Florence Wekesa.

The two were calmed down and the meeting continued amid heightened tension.

Speaking to the Nation by phone after the incident, Mr Barasa said that he lost his cool after Mr Walela began threatening him with death.

PRIDE, ARROGANCE

But Mr Barasa said that he was irked by Mr Walela's pride and arrogant talk which he claimed was meant to demean the people of Lwandanyi Ward which he represents.

"I was more disturbed when the CEC said that he will send goons to kill me and teach me a lesson. I was shocked at his words that he kept on repeating," the MCA said.

"I told him that there was no malice in me tabling his impeachment motion as I was only doing my oversight role," he added.

Mr Barasa said that he told Mr Walela that the impeachment was done by all assembly members and not him as an individual.

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