Chaos rocks City Hall as MCAs attempt to serve Elachi with impeachment notice

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Police officers as they accessed the Nairobi County Assembly on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Image: FREDRICK OMONDI

Chaos once again erupted at the County Assembly of Nairobi on Tuesday after a section of MCAs attempted to serve Speaker Beatrice Elachi an impeachment notice signed by 59 MCAs.

There was a heavy contingent of police present at City Hall as they barred the MCAs who also wanted to serve Elachi with a court order suspending the appointment Edward Gichana as the clerk of the assembly.

However, Elachi locked herself in her office as the police prevented the MCAs from accessing the Speaker’s office.Nairobi MCAs outside the Nairobi County Assembly on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

The police were forced to lob teargas inside the assembly to disperse the MCAs.

It is the MCAs second attempt to remove her from office since 2018.

The MCAs accused her of abuse of office, divisive leadership and disrespecting other office holders in the assembly. Nairobi MCAs outside the Nairobi County Assembly on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court on Tuesday suspended the gazettement of Edward Gichana which was done last week by Elachi.

Gichana had been sworn in as the new clerk to replace Jacob Ngwele.Nairobi County Assembly Jacob Ngwele and Deputy Majority Whip Waithera Chege outside Speaker Beatrice Elachi’s office as they awaited to serve her with the impeachment notice and court order on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Ngwele had moved to court on Monday seeking a conservatory order quashing the appointment of Gichana pending the service, hearing and determination of his petition.

The swearing in of Gichana came a day after Ngwele made a come back to the office after nine months.

However, Speaker Elachi maintained that Ngwele was a visitor and that he was no longer the clerk of the assembly.

The impeachment effort is the latest episode in the wrangles that have bedevilled the assembly since 2017.Nairobi MCAs outside the Nairobi County Assembly on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Despite the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission and the Central Bank of Kenya advising that Ngwele be reinstated, Elachi dismissed such attempts as illegal.

The approval of Gichana as the new clerk was through a virtual sitting by the assembly, which anti-Elachi MCAs claim was only attended by her allies. 

The MCAs also accused Elachi of impunity by defying 10 court orders against her and by appointing a new clerk .

Elachi herself was only just reinstated in October 2019 after a protracted battle at the Labour Court. 

She had been impeached in September 2018 after 103 of the 107 ward reps voted against her. 

She had been accused of abuse of office, conflict of interest, undermining the County Service Board and poor leadership. 

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