Kenya: Chaos Rocks Kisumu Assembly as MCAs Replace Speaker Oloo

10 September 2019

Members of Kisumu County Assembly Tuesday ousted embattled Speaker Onyango Oloo during a chaotic session.

The plot, which was well hatched by ODM, saw the MCAs exchange blows. Mr Oloo was replaced with North Kisumu MCA Elisha Jack Oraro.

RIVAL GROUPS

From Tuesday morning, tension was high within and outside the assembly premises as the reps lobbied for numbers.

Outside the precincts of the House, rival youth groups clashed over the bid to kick out Mr Oloo. The rowdy youth allied to Governor Anyang' Nyong'o and Mr Oloo staged demos and surrounded the House as they demonstrated and chanted for hours.

One group wanted MCAs to impeach Mr Oloo after he was on Monday charged with fraud over the loss of Sh1.8 billion at the Lake Basin Development Agency.

Their rivals, those allied to Mr Oloo, who is out on Sh10 million bail, wanted him to stay put until he is found guilty of corruption.

In the afternoon, the assembly turned into a battle field even as police, who were deployed to the assembly, remained standby to restore order and avert physical confrontation between the rival camps.

Deputy Speaker Roy Samo started the session. After praying, he adjourned the sittings to Thursday, a move the sparked anger among the members who were ready to carry out their planned ouster of Mr Oloo, who was not present.

More than five MCAs roughed Mr Samo up and ejected him from the speakers's chair, after which they threw him outside.

When the matter got out of hand, the assembly orderlies who had gone to protect the Mace, were also roughed up and beaten before the sergeant-at-arms asked them to walk out in protest. The clerks also fled.

The session continued with the MCAs taking up the role of the assembly orderlies, passing on the microphone and distributing water bottles before the clerks and two assembly staff came back.

When they resumed the session, the message was clear, 'the process was procedural and they will remain united'.

Kabonyo Kanyagwal MCA Oiko Pete said it was time for the assembly to unite for it to undertake its roles. "The journey ahead will be difficult but with unity of purpose we will soldier on," he said.

The acting speaker assured the more than 30 members in the House that the move they had taken was procedural.

"What we have done is constitutional and procedural. Do not feel intimidated in any way whatsoever. I will be neutral and we will work together to ensure we remain united," said Mr Oraro.

Mr Oraro apologised to the MCAs and assembly orderlies who were roughed up during the session even as he maintained that the ward reps will continue carrying out their roles according to the law. He later met a section of the MCAs at the Speaker's office after youth broke locks to allow him in.

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