Sonko impeachment: Stop meddling, Elachi tells court

Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi. PHOTO | FILE | MEDIA GROUP

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  • She reckons that an Assembly is an independent institution and its mandate should not be interfered with.

Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi has criticised the reasons given by a court when it halted the tabling of Governor Mike Sonko’s impeachment motion which was set for Tuesday.

She reckons that an Assembly is an independent institution and its mandate should not be interfered with.

On Monday, the Employment and Labour Relations Court said that Sonko's impeachment motion should not proceed except in strict compliance with County Assembly Standing Orders 67 and 72.

Standing Order number 67 touches on the procedure for removal of a governor from office through impeachment while Standing Order number 72 talks of the rights of the person to be ousted.

“After consultation with the House Business Committee, I have suspended the motion until further notice. However, the reasons by the court to have the impeachment motion suspended will not go unchallenged and, as the Speaker, I will stand firm in defending this institution,” said Ms Elachi.

She said they had dispensed with the matter of who is supposed to be the Assembly’s Clerk with the County Assembly Service Board going ahead to designate Monicah Muthami as acting Clerk.

The former nominated Senator said that an ad-hoc committee formed by the Assembly in November last year to look into the issues surrounding the appointment of Mr Jacob Ngwele as the clerk of the county assembly, in its report, established that Mr Ngwele was irregularly appointed.

And, with the law not envisaging the office to be vacant at any time, Ms Muthami was appointed into the office, albeit in an acting capacity.

“The report was made public and no person, including Ngwele himself, has ever challenged it. Therefore, this Assembly shall never be curtailed from performing its constitutional duties in the pretext of absence of the clerk or any other officer,” she said.

At the same time, the mover of the impeachment motion has also vowed to proceed with the process once the court has dispensed with the matter next week.

Minority Whip Peter Imwatok claimed the motion had met all the requirements for debate as well as meeting the signature threshold.

“As the mover of the impeachment motion this does not mean that I have withdrawn it but we shall respect the court's order until we get a final direction from the court next week. On Monday, if the court gives us the greenlight, we shall not hesitate to move forward with the impeachment motion,” he said.