Sifuna calls out Sakaja over delay in swearing-in of MCAs
Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna has hit out at Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja for delaying the swearing-in of Nairobi Members of County Assembly (MCAs).
The first-time Senator claimed that the action by Sakaja was political and aimed at punishing the MCAs and by extension, the people of Nairobi.
"We want the governor to know that at times human life is more important than politics. People are suffering because the Assembly needs to be in place for seamless service delivery," Sifuna stated.
While reiterating that Sakaja should gazette the Assembly’s first sitting, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Secretary-General pointed out that there were critical issues affecting Nairobians that he believes can only be addressed in the parliament, hence the urgent need for the swearing-in event.
"We have serious issues at hand that needs to be addressed; starting with the health sector where the facilities in Nairobi are falling apart," he reiterated.
"The assembly needs to be convened as fast as possible. We finish the taking oath part and have a county government, as a whole, to start working and put election mentality behind us (sic)," he added.
He also maintained that Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya coalition had the majority in the assembly irrespective of how long it will take to gazette the swearing-in of the MCAs.
"Sakaja is playing games because they want to see if they can show their might with numbers. It doesn’t matter how long it will take but Azimio has the majority at the county assembly," he said.
At the same time, Sifuna also shed light on the alleged confusion within Azimio over the candidate for the county’s speaker position.
He underscored that the coalition had selected Ken Ng'ondi to contest the seat.
"There is no confusion in Azimio. Ng’ondi is the candidate for the speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly," Sifuna stated.
His sentiments came after Jubilee party, which is a member of Azimio, had selected Harrison Wangoro Mwangi for the position.
Nairobi MCA's set to convene first sitting
The MCAs were expected to hold their first sitting on September 9, 2022.
According to standing orders, the first sitting should take place within 30 days after the General election.
Earlier, the county secretary Jairus Musumba told a local publication that Sakaja was waiting for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to gazette the first sitting.
“The house is not yet fully constituted as the IEBC is yet to gazette the nominated members of the county assembly,” Musumba stated at the time.
However, the Nairobi City County Assembly Standing Order 4(1) says that Governor Sakaja is by law mandated to gazette the sitting.
"The governor by notice in the Kenya gazette and the county gazette shall appoint the place and date of the first sitting of the new county assembly,” the order reads.
The IEBC needs to ensure that all names of elected and nominated members have been gazetted before the first sitting is gazetted.
During the sitting, the clerk, Edward Gichana, is expected to read the notification of convening the assembly in accordance with the Kenyan gazette.
Thereafter, he is expected to list the names of the individuals elected as members of the assembly.
The MCAs will also undergo an induction after the first sitting and after the speaker has been elected.
Azimio has 39 MCAs (ODM – 35, Wiper-4) while Kenya Kwanza Alliance has 37 (UDA -36, Chama Cha Kazi – 1). Three MCAs were elected on Independent ticket.