Taita Taveta MCAs in fist fight over People’s Assembly motion
Chaos erupted at the Taita-Taveta County Assembly chambers in Wundanyi town as members of the county assembly allied to NASA hurriedly passed the People’s Assembly motion on Friday evening.
Pandemonium and chaotic scenes broke out in the house as the NASA and Jubilee allied Party legislators engaged in physical fighting forcing the Speaker Meshack Maganga to take cover under the table when water battles and chairs were thrown at him.
Property of unknown value was also destroyed following the skirmishes that lasted almost half an hour.
Trouble started when NASA legislators introduced the motion to the amazement of Jubilee MCAs who were caught unawares.
As the fighting ensued, Jubilee party legislators attempted to grab the Speaker’s Mace only to receive resistance from the opposition legislators and Assembly orderlies.
Sergeant-at Arms James Mwang’ombe was attacked and wrestled to the ground as he tried to protect the Speaker’s Mace, which the Jubilee legislators were targeting.
There was push and pull as the opposition and the ruling coalition legislators exchanged blows and kicks paralyzing the house business for some time as the speaker watched in disbelief.
While the commotion was taking place, ODM’s Rong’e Juu Ward Representative Haris Keke was busy reading the controversial motion at the corner near the main entrance to the chambers.
The notice of procedural People’s Assembly motion was introduced to the house by ODM Chief Whip Ibrahim Juma and seconded by Majority Leader Jason Tuja.
“Pursuant to the provisions of the second Taita-Taveta County Assembly Standing Orders No. 45 (5)a and 230 (1), and notwithstanding the provisions of standing order No. 38 (1) and 38 (2), this house procedurally resolves that the motion appearing under the following order (2) in this Supplementary Order Paper, be notified and moved in this house same special sitting No. 026, in accordance with the precedents, parliamentary best practices and conventions of the second Taita-Taveta County Assembly,” the motion read.
The motion claimed that on August 8 last year, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) conducted illegal, unconstitutional and undemocratic presidential elections.
The fact that the turnout for the presidential elections was thirty percent or thereabouts of the total number of all the registered voters in Kenya and therefore the President cannot by delegation or otherwise be properly vested with the people’s sovereign power and authority, said the motion.
Jubilee legislators dismissed the People’s Assembly motion as illegal and vowed to take the speaker to court for allowing illegalities in the house to take place.
County Assembly Minority Leader Ronald Sagurani, Sagala Ward Representative Godwin Kilele and his Marungu countrepart Paul Kang’ethe claimed the speaker broke the law by allowing the motion in the house.
Sagurani and Kilele who roughed up the Speaker said members were only called for a special sitting to pass the County Supplementary Appropriation Bill and to approve the Public Appointments Committee on the vetting of the County executive committee member nominee for Public Service and Administration Janet Mwawasi Oben.
“The motion which was bot in the order paper was sneaked into the house with the full knowledge of the Speaker who has been leaning on the opposition side. We will take him to court for breaking the house standing order and the constitution,” warned Sagurani.
He said they had passed the motion to please the NASA leadership which is expected to tour the region at the end of the month.
“The two special sittings were gazzetted but we were shocked to learn that the motion of the people’s assembly was sneaked into the house. The speaker mislead the house and will face the law,” said the Mahoo Ward Representative.
Mr Kang’ethe accused the speaker of constantly taking sides in the house. “Today the (Speaker) has come out openly that he is a member of ODM whereas he is supposed to be impartial. We will take him to court,” he vowed.
He said the matter in dispute was already in Voi Law Courts and the decision to bring it to the house was in contempt of court and tantamount to prosecution. “The Voi Law Courts had earlier issued an order barring the opposition from passing what he termed as an “illegal” motion. The hearing of the case is coming up on January 16 this year,” Kang’ethe disclosed.
But the proponents of the motion said they followed the law by passing the people’s motion. “We have not broken the law as claimed by our colleagues. What we have done is right and is supported in law,” said Tuja.
“We have the majority in the house and we have carried the day,” the beaming Werugha Ward Representative said in the house after they controversially passed the motion.
Without specifying, Tuja at the same time threatened to punish the legislators who caused chaos in the house.
“We followed the house procedures to pass the motion. We were within the law to introduce the motion and no law was broken as claimed by our competitors,” noted Tuja.