3 MCAs injured in another day of chaos at Kisii assembly

Kisii Speaker David Kombo

Kisii Speaker David Kombo is pictured just before getting into his car on June 4, 2021.
 

Photo credit: Ruth Mbula | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Police hurled teargas in a bid to disperse the group, forcing MCAs and staff to flee the assembly, which has been chaotic for close to a year.

Three members of the Kisii County Assembly suffered injuries when a fracas broke out in the chamber on Tuesday morning as a group planned to elect a new Speaker.

Police used teargas to disperse the group, forcing MCAs and staff to flee the assembly. Proceedings in the House have been repeatedly disrupted for close to a year.

MCAs Amos Onderi (Bokimonge), James Anyona (Masimba) and Margaret Atina (nominated) were rushed to Oasis hospital.

Speaking to the media later on Tuesday, the lawmakers denounced the law enforcement actions.

“We came to perform our role to legislate, represent and oversee but were shocked to find many police officers,” Mr Onderi said, adding that MCAs are elected leaders who must be respected and allowed to perform their duties.

Kisii MCAs

Kisii MCAs supporting embattled Speaker David Kombo during a press conference on June 8, 2021.

Photo credit: Ruth Mbula | Nation Media Group

They asked Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to take action, but a group supporting Speaker David Kombo told them off, saying the dispute had nothing to do with Dr Matiang’i or Kisii Governor James Ongwae.

“The officers were there to enforce law and order. Let people not drag the names of our CS or Governor Ongwae into the matter. What we are seeing in the assembly is a fight amongst us over welfare issues,” said Kiogoro MCA Samuel Apoko.

Mr Apoko said the MCAs seeking to elect a new Speaker went against the law because a court order has prohibited such a move.

“We cannot be a House that makes and breaks the law at the same time. A court ordered that Mr Kombo continue discharging his duties. Why are they going against this? Is it not contempt of court?”

Kisii Governor James Ongwae, Kisii Speaker David Kombo

Kisii Governor James Ongwae has a word with Speaker David Kombo during a a county function on October 30, 2018.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Speaker's reprieve

The incident came just a day after a gazette notice revoking Mr Kombo’s de-gazettement was published.

“That further to the High Court Petition order of interim injunction, the Clerk of the Kisii County Assembly, their agents or anyone acting under their instructions were effectively stopped from declaring a vacancy in the office of the Speaker of the county assembly of Kisii by way of gazettement,” it stated.

“Consequently, it is notified for the information of the general public and the residents of Kisii County that the Gazette notice issued on May 31, 2021 that declared a vacancy in the office of the Speaker of Kisii County assembly is hereby revoked.”

Last week, Mr Kombo got a reprieve after the High Court in Kisii ordered that he continue discharging his duties until the case challenging his impeachment is determined.

"The planned recruitment of the new Speaker by the County Public Service Board is hereby suspended," said Justice Rose Ougo.

The judge further said the conservatory orders issued earlier by Justice Anthony Ndungu remain valid and in force until the matter is determined.

"The same orders have now been extended to July 1, when the matter will be heard.”

Other parties in the case are the Kisii County Assembly, Clerk James Nyaoga and the County Assembly Board, listed as the first, third and fourth respondents, respectively.

A group of MCAs pushing for the ouster of Kisii Speaker David Kombo addresses journalists at Oasis hospital in Kisii town on June 8, 2021.
 

Photo credit: Courtesy

Kombo-Nyaoga battle

Mr Kombo is in court to challenge his impeachment and his subsequent de-gazettement as Speaker by Mr Nyaoga.

The two are in office courtesy of court orders but have been using every opportunity to try to oust each other.

A May 27 gazette notice said the Kisii assembly had approved a motion for Mr Kombo’s removal from office by impeachment.

But those supporting him said MCAs keen to impeach him did not meet the required threshold in their vote.

“It is notified for the information of the general public and residents of Kisii that the office of the Speaker became vacant on May 26. Interested persons who qualify to be elected as Speaker are therefore invited to submit their nomination papers for election,” the notice stated.

“Nomination papers can be collected from the office of the clerk of the County Assembly of Kisii offices, during working hours from Monday May 31.”

The notice was followed by a letter lifting Mr Nyaoga’s suspension by acting Speaker Davins Onuso.

“After due consideration of your presentations, it has been decided that the suspension imposed on you be lifted. In view of this decision, you are required to report back to office immediately but be ready and willing to [present] yourself for investigation anytime you are called upon to do so,” read a letter reinstating him to office.

Mr Nyaoga had been suspended by Mr Kombo earlier this year over alleged corruption, gross misconduct and abuse of office.

He is also accused of making punitive deployments, placements, promotions and unfairly advanced employment that benefited his relatives and close associates, without due regard to established procedures and at the expense of other staff.

Some staff has been protesting against Mr Nyaoga’s continued stay in office.

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