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MCAs in Homa Bay, Kakamega cause chaos in assemblies

Tuesday October 16 2018

Kakamega County Assembly on October 16, 2018.

Kakamega County Assembly on October 16, 2018. Some MCA accused finance officials at the assembly of mismanagement. PHOTO | BENSON AMADALA | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

NATION TEAM
By NATION TEAM
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Chaos erupted in Kakamega and Homa Bay assembly halls on Tuesday afternoon after MCAs protested what they termed as undue behaviour by their respective speakers.

In Kakamega, a fight broke out after a section of ward representatives barricaded the office of the speaker, Morris Buluma, using wooden planks and later declared they had “ousted” him from office.

The leaders closed the office of the clerk, Patrick Kamwessar and that of the finance director Laban Atemba, accusing the officials of financial mismanagement and delayed processing of the mortgages.

In Homa Bay, speaker Elizabeth Ayoo was forced to run for her life when MCAs confronted her over claims of favouritism.

The speaker abandoned the assembly session when some MCAs wanted to beat her after she was accused of favouring other assembly members.

Security officers at the assembly security rescued her after she was overpowered by the male MCAs.

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In Kakamega, administration police officers were called in restore calm but were overwhelmed by ward representatives who stormed the speaker’s office and ejected him shortly before he addressed the media to respond to the accusations.

Mr Buluma had managed to access his office after county security officials removed the wooden planks from the door.

The ward representatives had earlier converged at the assembly and swore in Sango ward MCA Mr Kennedy Kilwake Sitanda as acting speaker before adjourning proceedings.

County security officers watched helplessly as the MCAs who waved placards broke into an office to collect the mace and proceeded with the swearing in of the acting speaker.

Majority Leader Joel Ongoro was roughed up by the MCAs who accused him of failing to speak out against corruption at the assembly.

But Mr Ongoro said what the MCAs had done was procedural: “We signed a code of conduct that directs us how to behave while on duty. Any breach of the same attracts a punishment that will be determined by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.”

Isukha South ward representative Farouk Machanje and his Shieywe counterpart Joan Mwamto said they had requested for bank statements from the officials to establish how funds allocated to the assembly were being but there had been no response from the management.

“We are tired of the questionable financial dealing at the assembly and cannot allow this continue,” said Mr Machanje.

The MCAs said a report prepared by the Auditor-General for the 2014/15 financial year had highlighted suspect financial dealings at the assembly but no investigations were conducted into the matter.

They called on the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji to order for investigations into the alleged financial mismanagement at the assembly, citing the construction of cafeteria at a cost of Sh150 million.

They building which was to be a cafeteria is now being used as a store.

In Homa Bay, there have been persistent wrangles on who should be the assembly majority leader and majority whip.

But the members resolved to share the positions between two warring factions led by Kanyidoto MCA Walter Muok and his Kwabwai counterpart Richard Ogindo.

After mediation by ODM party last week, the members resolved to put Mr Muok as the majority leader and Mr Ogindo and the majority whip.

Kojwach Ward MCA Joan Ogada was appointed as the deputy majority leader while Arujo Ward MCA Mary Ojala was appointed as the deputy majority whip.

An MCA told journalists that some members were not satisfied with the new changes and proposed for further changes including at the assembly service board.

At one moment, Ms Ayoo paused for a minute before continuing with the speech.

During the sitting which only lasted for less than ten minutes, Ms Ayoo had to cut short her speech after she was surrounded by male MCAs.