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Nairobi MCAs vote to oust Speaker Beatrice Elachi

Nairobi County ward representatives have voted to impeach Speaker Beatrice Elachi.

MCAs drawn from both Jubilee and National Super Alliance (Nasa), in a record attendance ever seen in any of House sittings during the second assembly, unanimously voted to remove Ms Elachi who is only a year old in her position.

The MCAs accused Ms Elachi of abuse of office and sabotage of assembly operations.

A total of 103 members voted to oust her, two members voted no, while two others abstained.

“A majority of members have voted for the impeachment motion therefore Speaker Beatrice Elachi stands impeached. Therefore, from today (Thursday), Beatrice Elachi is no longer the speaker of the County Assembly of Nairobi,” said deputy Speaker John Kamangu before the House on Thursday.

The ward representatives voted in their numbers voted to pass the two-thirds Constitutional threshold of 85 members needed for such a motion to go through as cheers and shouts of ‘Yes’ engulfed the Assembly.

To show the magnitude of the grievances of the MCAs and their urgency to see the motion go through, the county legislators amended several sections of the House Standing Orders in a bid to expedite the process.

The Standing Orders require that for a Speaker to be removed from her seat, a three-day notice of motion should be given.

If adopted, an Ad Hoc committee is then formed to investigate the speaker and if the committee is satisfied with the grounds of the removal should give the Assembly a go ahead to debate such a motion.

The MCAs however, seemingly aware of the requirements, amended all the clauses paving way for the impeachment process to go on the very day of issuing the notice of motion.

The ouster motion was tabled by Waithaka Ward MCA Anthony Kiragu listing a number of violations including conflict of interest, undermining the authority of the County Assembly Service Board, abuse of Office/gross misconduct as well as violation of chapter six of the constitution on responsibilities of leadership.

On Wednesday, a total of 108 members signed the petition that called for the removal of Ms Elachi from office.

According to the motion, Speaker Elachi was accused of quoting in excess of Sh25 million in the purchase of the Speaker’s residence which was valued at Sh100 million while also interfering, influencing and even threatening the Assembly staff to award the tender to her close relative.

The motion also alleged that the speaker sabotaged, undermined and unilaterally undertook the functions of the County Assembly Service Board contrary to section 12 of the County Governments Act.

According to the MCAs, Ms Elachi unilaterally appointed accounting officers without consulting the board. She is also further accused of Sh550, 000 of taxpayers’ money to travel to Dubai to be awarded an honorary degree by the London Graduate School which they claimed to be fake.

Moreover, Ms Elachi was accused of unprocedurally and frequently authorising entry of police officers not assigned to the Assembly into the precincts for purposes of arresting officers of the Assembly Service.

But speaking earlier on Thursday while in Malindi, Ms Elachi urged the MCAs to shelve the idea and embrace dialogue instead.

She termed the discussion of her conduct a “non-issue” and challenged the disgruntled MCAs to discuss the issues affecting Nairobi, the challenges, and how to deal with them.

“If I say I have their (MCAs) support yet they say I deny them trips, I would be lying. But I want to thank those who have stood with me and those who feel they are being pressured (to sign the impeachment motion),” said Ms Elachi.

Ms Elachi denied the allegations levelled against her the disgruntled MCAs to resign instead of “running the whole night discussing her” since they were elected to serve the people and not “to bring drama every day”.

“I know they are frustrated. They have loans, have not received their salaries but we cannot vent frustration this way. I want to plead with the members to look at country’s financial situation, and the situation right now is that we do not have resources,” she said.

Daily Nation

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