The chaos witnessed on Monday in the Nairobi County Assembly, where Members of the County Assembly stormed the office of their Speaker Beatrice Elachi to eject her, marked yet again a dark chapter in the operations of devolved governments.
It rekindled the ugly sights of the defunct municipal and county councils that were characterised by unending battles that rendered them disorganised and dysfunctional.
In civilised societies, disputes are resolved through dialogue. Institutional structures also exist through which parties can iron out their differences. Physical combat has no room in this day and age.
Events of the past week have been anything but civil. City MCAs, who have been scheming all along to oust Ms Elachi, ganged up and passed a vote of no confidence in her in record time.
And the entire plot was well executed. They hurriedly changed the standing orders and threw out provisions that staggered the process; mobilised themselves well, closed ranks across the political divide and voted overwhelmingly for her impeachment.
Although the Speaker later obtained a court injunction stopping her impeachment, the MCAs were not deterred; that is why they raided her office and forced her out in a manner most crude and disrespectful. This simply means they do not respect the rule of law, which is quite absurd.
They cannot purport to be enforcing sanity at the assembly when, in themselves, they disobey court orders.
We do not hold counsel for Ms Elachi and we believe that any official who transgresses must be brought to account.
We recognise that county assemblies, just like the county governments, are dens of corrupt dealings and many are thoroughly mismanaged.
But we would like to have a systematic approach to verifying claims of corruption or abuse of office — not mob lynching.
Experience has shown that MCAs have the tendency for troublemaking. Quite often, the grouses are not motivated by the public good but insidious and selfish interests.
Either they are seeking avenues for quick cash or are out to achieve other extraneous goals. In this case, the truth will soon come out.
The way the MCAs behaved is not acceptable. Looking at the turn of events, it is not convincing that they have a genuine grievance against the Speaker.
There could be other hidden factors at play. Whatever the case, the goings-on at the assembly are deplorable.
We need sanity in the city’s leadership. Nairobi is not only the capital city but the region’s strategic business and political hub.
Those in leadership in the city must understand the crucial role they play and hence learn to act civilly.
The culture of lawlessness must end.