The controversial impeachment of Isiolo Majority Leader Abdinoor Dima Jillo and his replacement by Garbatulla MCA Abdirashid Ali has thrown the county assembly into confusion after the UDM party distanced itself from the changes.
While details remain scanty on what prompted the changes communicated by Speaker Mohamed Roba Qoto on Tuesday, sources intimated that Mr Jillo was targeted for calling out Governor Abdi Ibrahim Guyo over his recent remarks, ostensibly directed at UDM deputy party leader Mohamud Ali.
In a clear indication of divisions in Kenya Kwanza-affiliated parties that are the majority in the assembly, the UDM party had on Monday warned Mr Ali against taking up the role, saying it recognised Mr Jillo as the majority leader.
“All members are directed to fully support (Jillo) until such time changes might be communicated in consultation with honourable members … Failure to adhere to the directive will be forwarded to the disciplinary committee,” said a letter by UDM Secretary-General David Ohito.
But even after the UDM party opposed the ouster, UDA members in the House spearheaded the process to eject Mr Jillo from the powerful post armed with a “supporting resolution” from the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
“Speaker Mohamed Roba Qoto read out the Kenya Kwanza Alliance decision which was effected, with Mr Ali taking over as the new majority leader,” Ngaremara MCA Peter Losu of UDA told Nation.Africa.
This came as UDM members maintained they were not privy to any decision by the ruling coalition to eject Mr Jillo, and termed the ouster an illegality.
While the exit of Mr Ali is good riddance for Governor Guyo, who now boasts of having 11 MCAs on his side against the seven of UDM, he will face an uphill task of convincing at least an extra MCA to achieve two-thirds majority in the House.
MCAs allied to Mr Guyo include Mr Losu (Ngaremara), Nicholas Lorot (Burat), David Waithaka (Bulapesa), Salesio Kiambi (Wabera), Halima Abgudo (Cherab) and Oldonyiro’s David Lemantile as well as four others nominated under UDA and Kanu parties.
Chaos erupted at the county assembly as the UDM members clashed with the speaker, whom they accused of “announcing an illegality”, even as leaders from both political camps differed on the process that was used.
Three MCAs, Abubakar Abdi Godana (Sericho), Meja Abdullahi Golicha (Chari) and Nura Mohamed Huka have since been suspended for 21 sittings by Mr Roba for disorderly conduct.
Sources within Mr Guyo’s camp told Nation.africa that the purge was necessitated by the recent onslaught on the Governor by UDM members led by Mr Jillo.
“How can the governor work with such a leader who embarrasses him in public instead of seeking other ways of raising their concerns?” a source asked.
UDM’s Mr Jillo and Mr Khamila Warsame (nominated), who was also targeted in the purge, accused the Speaker of abuse of office and interfering in their oversight mandate.
“We are headed in the wrong direction. The energy being used in the purge should be diverted to alleviating the suffering Isiolo residents are going through,” Mr Jillo said.
The embattled leader said they will continue fighting for the interests of the electorates and will undertake their oversight role without fear or intimidation to ensure a better Isiolo.