Kenya: City MCAs Kick Out 2 Committee Chairs Amid Realignments

11 December 2019

Two committee chairs in the Nairobi County Assembly were ousted on Tuesday as the dust settled on Speaker Beatrice Elachi's fractious return to office.

Members of the Sectoral Committees on Transport and Public Works, and Planning and Housing registered votes of no confidence in the chairs and replaced them.

Transport committee chairman James Mwangi, who is Kiamaiko Ward Representative, was replaced with nominated MCA Joyce Muthoni Kamau.

Waithaka MCA Anthony Kiragu Karanja lost his chairmanship of the Planning and Housing committee to Karura MCA Joseph Wambugu.

"I wish to thank the former chairpersons for leading the committees for the last two and half years and request the new chairpersons to steer the committee for the betterment of the county," Speaker Elachi said while announcing the changes.

ELECTIONS

The changes came hours after new majority leader Charles Thuo resigned from his position as Trade, Tourism and Cooperatives committee chairman.

Pumwani MCA Paul Ndungu Irungu will take over from Mr Thuo, Dandora 3's MCA.

The committees replaced their chairs but Ms Elachi directed all three of them to meet for elections in line with Standing Orders 171.

PARTY CHANGES

Realignments in the 26 committees began two weeks ago when both Jubilee Party and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) made changes.

It was alleged that MCAs opposed to Ms Elachi's return were targeted for removal from chairmanship or demotion as punishment.

Mr Kiragu said procedures were not followed in his removal and that elections for appointment of his successor were not held.

He noted that the impeachment of a chair is not supposed to be announced in the chambers. He also said members are to collect signatures for a vote of no confidence in a chair, pick a date and present it to the liaison committee for approval and setting of an election date.

"The impeachment process was not procedural. All this was done within thirty minutes. I am not even sure whether they held elections to appoint the new chair," he said, but noted he will respect committee members.

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