Drama Video as Raila ‘anointed’ Speaker injured in Kisumu assembly war
This comes just days after Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga intervened in the growing disputes at the county assembly and agreed with the parties to have Ms Jossy chair the sessions in the interim.
Jossy fell down at the assembly entrance after she attempted to force her way into the chambers to chair the Tuesday afternoon session. The Deputy Speaker was shoved by a sergeant-at-arms, throwing her off balance and onto the floor.
She immediately started gasping for breath as other assembly officials attempted to carry her out of the chambers. It took the efforts of the assembly guards and the public to carry her to the car that sped off to hospital.
Drama at the assembly started after Jossy vowed to chair the session as advised by Raila following a meeting with the assembly leaders. But a faction allied to the assembly’s Majority Leader Samuel Ong’ow insisted that acting Speaker Gabriel Ochieng’ should steer the sessions.
The assembly members seem to have failed to agree on who should steer the House sessions despite a meeting with Raila last week and a subsequent one on Monday that ended in a stalemate. The Monday meeting, convened by the MCAs following a directive from Raila, ended without a conclusive way forward.
Assembly Chief Whip Isaiah Onyango had earlier issued a statement asking members to accept the party position to have Jossy steer the assembly until a case concerning embattled Speaker Anne Adul is concluded.
“I ask you to allow Jossy to chair sessions for the sake of peace in the assembly and Kisumu County,” said Mr Onyango.
However, members did not heed his appeal. A majority of them were of the view that Samuel Ombogo of North West Kisumu ward should chair the sitting. Mr Ombogo is a member of the Speaker’s panel.
On Monday, Mr Ong’ow said a majority of the members had resolved that the office of the clerk and the Speaker should remain closed until the court case was determined.
“We shall also recognise Pamela Jossy and support her as the Deputy Speaker,” said Ong’ow, a position he seemed to have back-tracked on yesterday. Addressing the Press, the majority leader also said they would in subsequent sessions respect the rule of law as advised by Raila at a meeting to resolve the issues affecting the county assembly.
Ong’ow had asked Jossy to continue using an office adjacent to the assembly, which is reserved for the deputy speaker. But Jossy seemed to have other ideas and last week forced her way inside the Speaker’s office using a bolt cutter, which she used to break the padlock.
Jossy insisted she would occupy the office regardless of efforts to bar her from entering it.
“All this time Gabriel Ochieng has been acting, he has been occupying the office belonging to the Speaker. Why can’t I be allowed to enjoy the same privileges?” posed Jossy.
She maintained that she would chair assembly sessions and also occupy the Speaker’s office. The Deputy Speaker said although they had discussed various issues during the meeting, they never agreed on many of the things Ong’ow was insinuating.
“We have discussed at length but we have not agreed on whether the Deputy Speaker or the acting Speaker should steer the assembly,” said Jossy.
She said during the lengthy meeting, members had prevailed on her to deputise the acting Speaker, a proposal she declined because it doesn’t exist in any law.
“How can I deputise Ochieng’ yet his position does not even exist in the standing orders or the law? Members of the public should come and help us restore law and order in this assembly,” said Jossy.
Minority Whip Caroline Owen said as the Opposition, they had no problem with Ochieng’ acting until the case against Ms Adul was concluded.