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Gichana makes comeback Assembly clerk after three months in the cold

Embattled Nairobi County Assembly Clerk Edward Gichana has made a return to the assembly as the substantive clerk after three months in the cold.

Mr Gichana has been in a protracted battle with former clerk Mr Jacob Ngwele for the position.

The former Nairobi County government head of internal audit was welcomed back to the office on Thursday by Speaker Benson Mutura taking over from Pauline Akuku, who has been holding the office in an acting capacity.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court last month ruled in favour of Mr Gichana’s appointment after declaring that the appointment of Mr Ngwele in 2014 as the assembly’s clerk was irregular and unlawful.

However, he had not assumed office since then with the assembly leadership divided on whether to implement the court order to allow a return to office of Mr Gichana.

But a middle ground seems to have been struck with Ms Akuku, who is the deputy clerk in charge of administration, ending her stint as acting clerk to give way for Mr Gichana’s return.

“In accordance with the orders of court issued in ELRC petition No. 194 of 2019 on August 5, 2020 and the judgment delivered in the said petition on October 16, 2020, I have today, November 25, 2020 ceased to act in the position of the clerk having handed over to Edward Gichana who now takes over as the substantive clerk of the county assembly and the secretary to the county assembly service board,” said Ms Akuku in her handing over letter.

Mr Gichana was appointed as the assembly’s clerk in July after emerging top among 11 applicants shortlisted by the assembly’s board for the position of the assembly’s clerk after the board announced a vacancy in the office.

However, the choice of the former Nairobi County government head of internal audit as the new clerk has divided the assembly as well as the board with some members opposing his appointment.

Further, former clerk Mr Ngwele also moved to court seeking a conservatory order to quash the appointment of Mr Gichana.

The court would then suspend Mr Gichana’s gazettement by former Speaker Beatrice Elachi as the new clerk.

But tables turned on Mr Ngwele on October 16 when Lady Justice Maurine Onyango cited irregularities in his appointment process stripping him off the office, saying Mr Ngwele’s appointment contravened section 13 of the County Government’s Act which provides for the clerk to be appointed by the County Assembly Service Board (CPSB) with approval of the County Assembly.