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Sonko, Speaker Elachi flex political muscles, but who will blink first?

Wednesday July 29 2020
son-ela

The supremacy wars between Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (left) and County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi (right) continue, with both flexing their political muscles. PHOTOS | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COLLINS OMULO

The supremacy wars between Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi continue, with both flexing their political muscles.

The fight for the control of the devolved government has driven a wedge between two camps of ward representatives.

Mr Sonko and Ms Elachi now face the ignominy of being removed from office through impeachment.

Representatives allied to Mr Sonko are deep into the process of removing Ms Elachi from office, with 59 having signed the censure motion.

IMPEACH SONKO

Minority Whip Peter Imwatok, Nominated Ward Rep June Ndegwa and others who have thrown their weight behind the Speaker say they will revive the impeachment motion against the governor.

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The two leaders have marshalled their troops around their causes, resulting in a split among ward representatives.

It is through the support of Mr Sonko and ward representatives allied to him that Ms Elachi returned to office in October last year despite opposition from Mr Abdi Guyo and his troops.

The political marriage of convenience between Mr Sonko and Ms Elachi in 2019 crumbled early this year during the bid to impeach the governor.

Mr Sonko felt he had been left to his devices and that his support for Ms Elachi was not reciprocated.

SETTLE SCORES

The Speaker has been hiding behind the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to settle scores with Mr Sonko.

The recent chaos has been fuelled by the return into office of assembly clerk Jacob Ngwele.

Ms Elachi fears a rejuvenated Ngwele with the support of Governor Sonko will spell the end of her term at the assembly.

She has fast-tracked the appointment of Edward Gichana as clerk of the assembly.

The court has suspended the appointment.

There is no love lost between Mr Ngwele and Ms Elachi following an acrimonious falling-out in 2018 that almost turned physical.

REMOVED FROM BOARD

When Ms Elachi resumed office, she had Mr Ngwele and Mr Guyo removed from the assembly board.

She refuses to recognise the reinstatement of Mr Guyo as majority leader.

Two days ago, Ms Elachi blamed the governor for being behind the new bid to have her impeached.

She said her problems are linked to her battle with Mr Ngwele.

The Speaker sees the governor’s hidden hand in Mr Ngwele’s return.

“Sonko knows that there is a new clerk who was recently sworn in. He knows he can be impeached any time. That is why he is at war with me,” Ms Elachi said.

“He has been using Ngwele in all his court cases. He is very angry because he knows the order that stopped his removal can be revived now that Ngwele is gone.”

The clerk is the chief accounting officer of the assembly. He is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the assembly. The clerk oversees the payroll.The two want to control the assembly finances.

Ms Elachi had Mr Ngwele removed as the signatory to the assembly’s accounts at the CBK in December, before he was restored to the position by the county executive.

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