Kenya: Elachi's Grand Return to City Hall Sabotaged As Clerk Retains Assembly's Order Paper

9 October 2019

A plenary session slated for Wednesday afternoon at failed to kick off at the Nairobi County Assembly amid chaotic confrontations over the House speakership.

Embattled Speaker Beatrice Elachi's attempt to chair the session hit a dead end after the clerk declined to provide the order of business.

She was forced to adjourn the House indefinitely pending communication on when the next sitting will be held, in a bid to allow normalcy to resume.

"We have adjourned the house, until the day I will send a communication that this is the day we are coming back to the plenary and we will come back when we have peace in the house so that we will never come back again to such a scenario," said Elachi.

The plenary started late after the mace went missing and even after it was found, the sergeant at arms declined to take it inside the chambers.

He was however cornered by agitated youths, who forced him to don a robe after which he was handed the mace amid a celebration by pro-Elachi Members of the County Assembly.

The Hansard was however not presented; this was blamed on the office of the clerk and the Assembly's ICT department.

"I want to plead with the staff of this Assembly; do not engage in issues of politics, you are here to serve members and therefore let's have respect," said Elachi.

A section of Jubilee Party MCA's who were present during the plenary claimed to have ousted Majority Leader Hassan Guyo, an archrival of Elachi, who has vowed to ensure she is kicked out of office, again.

Elachi returned to City Hall after 13 months of uncertainty, after she was given a lifeline by a court order.

Her return was however marred with drama, chaos and violence which left chairs and tables broken after a faction of Members of County Assembly led by the Majority Leader Hassan Guyo raided her office, clashing with their counterparts who had camped there in solidarity.

Minutes later after the confrontations turned ugly, police were forced to use teargas canisters that were lobbed right inside the speaker's office and around the assembly precincts, leaving everyone scampering for safety and fresh air.

"I can't breath, I can breath," another MCA would be heard saying as she was being escorted out of an office to windows, for fresh air.

After calm was restored, a group of youths and some MCAs who are pro-Elachi came back chanting "Elachi, Elachi, Elachi!"

A defiant Elachi was seen surrounded by private security -- individuals dressed in civilian attire -- who covered her all through the drama.

"We're here until we respect each other," Elachi told journalists.

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