Kenya: Homa Bay MCAs Overhaul County Assembly Leadership

Trouble is brewing at the Homa Bay County Assembly after MCAs reshuffled three leadership positions.

The county assembly members allied to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ousted Chief Whip Richard Ogindo and replaced him with Kakelo Kokwanyo MCA Dan Were. The ward reps also made changes in Finance Committee and the Speaker's panel.

Nominated MCAs Judith Omogi and Ruth Ombura who held the respective seats were swooped in changes that are likely to rekindle divisions among assembly members.

Ms Omogi served as the vice chairperson of the finance committee while Ms Ombura was a member of Speaker's panel.

The assembly has in the past made changes in the position of the Leader of Majority and ousted their Speaker Elizabeth Ayoo which brought conflict among members.

The new changes are likely to reignite the fight.

Homa Bay County Assembly has 60 members, with 58 members elected and Nominated on ODM ticket. The other two members are from Ford Kenya and an independent candidate.

In a motion presented to the assembly by Majority Leader Walter Were, Mr Ogindo's position was taken by Mr Were, after the former whip was accused of going against the responsibilities he was accorded to undertake in the assembly.

Mr Ogindo is accused of mobilising MCAs not to attend the assembly proceedings that was held this week on Tuesday afternoon.

In a motion presented at the assembly on Wednesday, Mr Ogindo is said to have intended to jeopardise the County Appropriation Bill that was being discussed that afternoon.

The County Appropriation Bill allows the county government receive funds from the national government, when approved.

Mr Were argued that the whip should inform MCAs to attend assembly sitting.

In this case Mr Ogindo was supposed to inform MCAs to attend the assembly to discuss the County Appropriation Bill, which he is accused of not doing.

"His intentions were to make the assembly to lack quorum so that the proceedings could be suspended and the discussions flop. This would jeopardize the discussion on County Appropriation Bill," Mr Muok told members.

However, the assembly managed to raise the right quorum and passed the bill.

The majority leader said changes in the position of the chief whip was done to enhance service delivery by MCAs in the county.

Acting Speaker Evans Marieba endorsed the ouster of Mr Ogindo.

But the ousted whip opposed the decision insisting that he is still the Majority Whip.

He argued that Muok and Marieba lacked the Constitutional authority to remove him from the post.

"Nobody can remove me from office. The allegations leveled against me are all fictitious," Mr Ogindo said yesterday.

He argued that he could only be removed from the post by ODM.

Previously, Mr Ogindo served as the Leader of Majority but was ousted for working with Ms Ayoo.

The two were accused of making decisions that were contrary to assembly proceedings.

Suba North ODM chairman Narkiso Tuko said the assembly members are not barred from ousting their leaders in the assembly.

Mr Tuko said the ousted leader can, however, challenge the decision of the assembly members.

"The ousted leader is at liberty to challenge his removal from office in a court of law," he said.

But Mr Ogindo insisted that his ouster was against the law but did not say whether he will challenge the decision.

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