Elachi resigns as Speaker of Nairobi County Assembly
The Speaker of Nairobi County Assembly, Beatrice Elachi, has resigned from her position.
Elachi handed over the key role to Ruai Ward MCA John Kamangu, who is also the deputy speaker. Kamangu takes over as Acting Speaker until a new substantive speaker is elected.
The surprise move comes after months of wrangles at the Assembly that saw MCAs divided into factions, with some in her support and a majority opposed to her leadership.
While announcing her resignation, Ms Elachi cited threats to her life and that of her family among the reasons for stepping down.
“I humbly tender my resignation. And in line with the law, I appoint John Kamangu to take over as Acting Speaker and also chair of the Assembly’s board until the recruitment of a new speaker,” Elachi said.
Elachi also blamed power tussles, frustrations and interference from Governor Mike Sonko for her resignation.
“Governor Sonko, you cannot go on threatening people’s lives and their families. You also have a family. You cannot have everything, just nurture what God has given you,” she said in a statement.
Ms Elachi had just returned to office in October last year after more than a year out following her impeachment in September 2018.
ASSEMBLY OF CHAOS
However, since her return, the Assembly has been embroiled in chaos, even as another censure motion hangs heavily over her head.
On his part, Mr Kamangu expressed shock at the resignation saying he did not see it coming.
“Today is a shock in my life. I was not expecting his from her. It has shocked me. I wish her well. I’m ready to occupy the position and things will role as expected,” he said.
He, nevertheless, said he is ready to work with everyone to restore sanity at the Nairobi Assembly and called for support from MCAs and other stakeholders to deliver on their mandate.
“I am ready to work with the Governor. Let’s put politics aside and work together. I will bring all stakeholders together sit down and agree and chart the way forward. I have been a councilor for 10 years and now an MCA…I am calling for support of MCAs to deliver for Nairobians,” he added.
The resignation of Elachi, who has been locked in a long-running tussle with Clerk Jacob Ngwele, comes in the wake of intense efforts by a section of MCAs to table an impeachment motion against the outgoing Speaker.
Two weeks ago, Elachi, in an apparent effort to counter the impeachment motion, prematurely adjourned the assembly sittings until September.
MCAs supporting Ngwele however insisted that Elachi stood suspended and cannot perform any duty due to her office, pending the resolution of the impeachment motion facing her.
In her defence, the former nominated senator said that the “current environment at the assembly cannot allow for operation of virtual sittings” citing attempts by some ward representatives and goons to disrupt the sittings.
Early last week, though, the push for Elachi’s impeachment appeared to have been thrown off balance after assembly deputy clerk in charge of administrative affairs Pauline Akuku dismissed the purported motion saying the office of the clerk is yet to be properly served with any notice of motion.
Akuku said neither the new clerk Edward Gichana nor herself has not received any notice of motion for the removal from office of the Speaker.
MCAs allied to Elachi had also vowed to block the impending censure motion against the outgoing Speaker.