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Row brews at Nairobi county assembly

Thursday July 16 2020
city hall

City Hall in Nairobi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COLLINS OMULO

A row is brewing at the Nairobi County Assembly over recent appointments of senior officers at the assembly.

Recently, 17 new senior officers were appointed at the assembly by the Nairobi County Assembly Service Board.

Members of the service board are also split over the appointments.

Vice chairperson of the board Hamza Maringo, MCA Mark Ndung’u and his Nairobi West counterpart Maurice Gari said they were never consulted.

“I would like to set the record straight Gari and I were not part of the recruitment. As board members, we must always be consulted,” said Mr Ndung’u.

The board is made up of the speaker, the two MCAs and two members of the public as the fourth and fifth members.

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Speaker Beatrice Elachi, who is the chairperson of the board, defended the process saying no political class is allowed by law to be part of the recruitment.

She said the process was spearheaded by the fourth and fifth members of the board, as is required by law, guided by senior officers from the Ministry of Public Service and Strathmore University.

She absolved the board from blame saying it recruited from serving officers who had been hired by the defunct board and therefore the current one had no role in their initial recruitment.

She said the panel emphasised on merit, experience and regional balance. Ms Elachi promised that the board will ensure that minorities and persons with disabilities are considered in future recruitments.

Critics said only three tribes dominated the list of the new appointees.

They also argued that only three women and a one person of the Islamic faith made the cut.

The new development also saw the creation of two deputy clerk positions with one in charge of administration and the other in charge of legislative services.

Immediate acting Clerk Pauline Akuku was appointed as the first occupant of the office of deputy clerk in charge of administration.

On the creation of the two new positions, Ms Elachi said it was done to ensure that at no any given time will the operations of the assembly stall just because “we have a dispute with the holder of the position of the clerk”.

The speaker and clerk Jacob Ngwele have been embroiled in a battle for the control of the assembly’s finances since last year with the fallout between the two dragging to court.

The tussle has also seen Mr Ngwele blocked from accessing the assembly and even thrown out of the assembly’s board.

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