Kenya: Wycliffe Wangamati's Tussle With MCAs Escalates

The wrangles between Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati and Members of the County Assembly have taken a new twist after attempts by the county boss to use ODM headquarters to clip the wings of ward representatives opposed to him hit a brick wall.

Speaker of the County Assembly Emmanuel Situma has dismissed a letter from the party headquarters, signed by ODM chairman John Mbadi, instructing his office to dewhip Khalaba MCA Majimbo Okumu from all assembly committees.

In his communication from the chair, the Speaker said that Mr Mbadi has no locus standi to direct his office to discharge a member from any committee as this is in contravention of the Standing Orders.

"I advised Hon Majimbo to disregard the contents of the letter because of the provisions of the County Governments Act on committee membership, which states that a Member of the County Assembly shall serve on at least one committee," said Situma.

Wangamati has been at logger heads with majority of MCAs who have in the recent past tried to impeach him. Majimbo has been in the forefront of the onslaught on the governor.

The MCAs have remained defiant even after party leader Raila Odinga threatened to take disciplinary action on them.

Accused of corruption

The Majimbo-led group has accused Wangamati of corruption and disregarding the law, accusations which the county boss has dismissed on several occasions.

The MCAs have at the same time rejected a second supplementary budget by Wangamati, demanding the initial one which was passed barely a month ago.

As result of the wrangles, the county boss has been unable to approve the assembly's exchequer request and funds diversion meant for staff May salaries.

"The stalemate is what has made it impossible for the county treasurer to submit our salaries," said an MCA who sought anonymity.

Sources within the Senate told the Nation that the standoff between the county assembly and the county executive over the county treasury refusal to approve the assembly's exchequer request and funds diversion meant for staff May salaries could be headed to the Senate.

Speaker Situma confirmed that the Senate has therefore summoned the two arms of the Bungoma county government to appear before the committee on finance and budget next week.

"We will be going to the Senate to have the matter resolved because the governor cannot hold the assembly at ransom because he is being oversighted," said Situma.

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