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Nairobi ward reps shelve plans to impeach Sonko

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 00:00 | By
Nairobi Assembly orderlies restrain Minority Leader Peter Inwatok and Imara Daima MCA Kennedy Obuya during a face-off at the House yesterday. Photo/PD/David Ndolo

George Kebaso @Morarak

Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s problems at City Hall are far from over after Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) vowed to soldier on with the impeachment motion.

Some MCAs pushing for his impeachment vowed to ignore President Uhuru’s alleged order to spare the governor and move on with their plans.

The MCAs, allied to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, challenged their colleagues claiming the President implored on them not to impeach the Governor, to come out in the open and quote the exact words the Head of State said.

Nairobi County Assembly Minority Whip Peter Imwatok said the MCAs seeking to impeach Sonko, had decided to strictly follow the law by putting the impeachment motion on hold yesterday.

The motion had been scheduled for debate yesterday.

“I challenge anyone who can quote the exact words that the President used. This is just a narrative given by  Sonko because the President is very keen to make sure that his Big 4 Agenda and the transferred functions to the national government are fulfilled,” Imwatok said before the Assembly sittings kicked off.

Speaker Beatrice Elachi officially suspended the debate on the impeachment on grounds that the court should first determine a case concerning the ouster.

However, Imwatok insisted he would not withdraw the motion pending the direction of the court next week, saying that a legal team has already been engaged to challenge the court’s ruling.

The motion had been slotted in yesterday’s order paper, before Monday’s decision by the Employment and Labour Relations Judge Byram Ongaya to suspend it to a later date.

The Makongeni MCA said the motion had already reached the threshold and passed all the legal litmus test to be debated.

 “It is a fact that we have particulars of impeachment that were evidence-based that Nairobians were eagerly waiting to see that we will be moving for two hours to explain the basis of the impeachment.

Jubilee  cannot be defenders of the rule of the law, and at the same time, violate the same law,” he said accompanied by close to a dozen ODM MCAs.

“We hope by next week, subject to the court’s decision, we will be able to come back and talk as a party on the way forward,” added Imwatok.

But Jubilee ward reps said on Saturday, President Uhuru explained to the MCAs - who were led by Kilimani MCA Moses Ogeto – why he needed their oversight commitment to be exercised for the transferred functions to be realised.

“He also appealed to the MCAs to spearhead the public participation that is beginning tomorrow (today) on the transferred functions,” David Mberia, Karen ward rep said.

The ODM MCAs further argued that the Employment and Labour Relations Court, according to their legal team, could not adjudicate the issue between the Governor and the County Assembly or the People of Nairobi because for them, under Article 1 of the Constitution, they were the representatives of the people, making it a social contract between the governor and the people.

“Anything, therefore, that has a social contract between the governor and the people has to be adjudicated in a Constitutional Court ...

Our lawyers have advised that in line with the court order that was issued yesterday, we allow the court to give its verdict other than moving the impeachment motion, which will lead to illegalities,” Mberia said.

He challenged Sonko to come out clean if he believes that there was interference from the party leaders to explain why he moved to court on Monday.

“In fact the President was clear that every corrupt official in his government and County government must carry their own cross, and that’s the reason Sonko moved to court,” he added.

After the MCAs visit to State House, Roysambu MCA Peter Warutere said the leaders had agreed to focus on service delivery.

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