14 September 2018

Kenya: Elachi Stands Ousted as Women MPs Rally to Her Defence

Members of the Nairobi County Assembly on Thursday said they will not allow embattled Speaker Beatrice Elachi to return to office.

Speaking at SAI Roc Hotel in Mombasa, the MCAs, led by Majority Leader Abdi Guyo, said they had impeached Ms Elachi, so she is no longer their speaker.

"Madam Elachi is currently the Speaker of the Labour and Industrial Court that reinstated her, but we will not recognise her," Mr Guyo, who was accompanied by Deputy Speaker John Kamau, said.

The MCAs also said they will honour the summons by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), but asked the organisation to stop interfering in the Assembly's affairs.

"We will honour their summons. But one wonders why the Speaker, who has wrongly used taxpayers' money, has not been touched.

"We had sufficient reasons for impeaching her, which, in fact, should have prompted both EACC and the DCI to investigate her conduct. Unfortunately, we are the ones who have been summoned," Mr Guyo added.

EACC CRITICISED

He said the summons was meant to intimidate them, but they will not be cowed since their conduct on Monday was within the Assembly's constitution.

"We can see these are strings being pulled from behind (the scenes)," he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Kamau said the EACC should stop interfering in the Assembly's business, since the Assembly has the Powers and Privileges Committee, which deals with internal matters.

"I would like to ask the EACC to give us a chance to use the powers we are given by the committee before we respond," Mr Kamau said.

Meanwhile, 11 women MPs on Thursday came to Ms Elachi's defence. They accused male legislators of ganging up against, and harassing, them.

Speaking at a Huduma Mashinani Programme in Likoni, the MPs, who were accompanied by Mombasa women MCAs, said that they will not allow a fellow woman to be harassed in office.

IN SOLIDARITY WITH ELACHI

They condemned the MCAs for allegedly being compromised to remove Ms Elachi from office.

"We as women have worked hard to be in the positions where we are and we want everyone to respect that," Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo said. "Women should not be used by men to fight other women."

"You are putting a higher standard for women than for men. We all have the same standards. We will fight with them for the seat of Governors come 2022," she said.

Likoni MP Mishi Mboko also asked women to defend each other when targeted. "Whenever you see a woman mistreated, be ready to defend her," she said.

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