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Calm returns to Nairobi County Assembly after week of chaos and drama


Calm has returned to Nairobi County Assembly after a week of chaos and drama following the return to office by Speaker Beatrice Elachi on Wednesday last week.

The chaos of last week has been replaced by peaceful groupings as normal business seems to be slowly picking up at the assembly.

A spot check by the Nation observed a section of ward representatives and members of staff going about their business.

There were no police officers roaming around the assembly precincts as was for the better part of the last seven days.

Elachi was also meeting a delegation in her office, one of the scenes of one of the fiercest battles between rival MCAs last week. At the reception, broken furniture, including pieces of tables and chairs, are still present.

However, the offices of the Majority and Minority Leaders, both Whips as well as that of the clerk and tables and journals office remained closed.

The basement, where the MCAs normally conduct their committee sittings, also remained empty without any sittings.

The Majority Leader’s office seemed to have not been attended to as broken, unarranged furniture and pieces of wood were still on the floor.

The entrance to the chambers was also closed with the gazette notice issued out by Elachi, suspending regular sittings last week, placed on the door. The sittings are set to resume on October 29, 2019.

ADJOURNMENT

Nonetheless, amidst the calm, County Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele has faulted the indefinite adjournment and subsequent gazettement of the resumption date of the assembly, saying the processes lack legal backing.

Mr Ngwele said that an assembly calendar is determined before any sittings begin in January by the House Business Committee for the entire year, and it is the committee which is allowed to set and manage the same.

“Every gazette notice is anchored on specific provision of the law. However, this was not anchored on any law. It was based on the October 8 sitting which had no Hansard, minutes or clerks.

“We cannot honour the gazettment has it has no legal backing. There is nothing like adjournment Sine Die in our Standing Orders,” said Mr Ngwele.

He also accused Elachi of hijacking the assembly calendar which can only be set and managed by the HBC which is the only committee that can change the House calendar subject to resolution of MCAs.

However, Elachi dismissed Ngwele’s claims saying she was guided by the law in adjourning the plenary sittings.

“He can go to court because everything is clearly explained in the county assembly standing orders. This time everything is being done by the law and if he feels the notice was illegal and wants to challenge the standing orders, he is free to do so,” said Elachi.