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Election fever hits Nairobi County Assembly

The Nairobi County Assembly will maintain virtual sessions despite pressure on Speaker Benson Mutura to reinstate physical sittings.

The sittings resume on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, following a month-long recess and Minority Leader Michael Ogada suggests the level of debate has been affected with Members of County Assembly (MCAs) focussing more on the 2022 general elections.

“There is nothing serious there. People are busy doing their things. We are having the sessions just for the sake,” claimed Ogada.

Deputy Majority Whip Waithera Chege has been at the forefront in calling for an end to virtual plenaries, saying they haven’t been effective with only a few members logging in, and even those who log in are just doing it for the sake.

Minority Whip Peter Imwatok agreed with Chege. He urged Muturi to call for physical sessions “so that men and women can meet at the plenary”.

“We have to define the way forward for the remaining quarter of the assembly. The assembly has been taken over by cartels who are now running it and there is nothing substantial happening there. I will give an address on the affairs of the county assembly as we cannot continue this way,” said Imwatok.

Nominated MCA Doris Kanario also wondered why it is only Nairobi, which is still stuck on virtual sittings yet Parliament conducts its business physically.

Umoja One MCA Mark Mugambi said the National Assembly and the Senate have resumed physical sittings and, therefore, Nairobi should not be an exception.

Speaker Mutura said although the assembly is winding up, there are still businesses pending that they are trying to expedite as part of the assembly’s oversight, representation and legislation roles.

“We have had so many businesses from bills and all that we have been transacting so that [assembly being moribund] is far-fetched. We even already have business for Tuesday (today) which is basically what was pending before we went for the recess,” said Mr Mutura.

Mutura explained that the resumption of physical meetings will be determined by the relevant authorities including the Ministry of Health.