Nyeri TNA MCAs defy party and elect new majority leader

By: ESTHER MWANGI

Nyeri TNA MCAs have elected a new majority leader despite a warning from the party not to conduct elections and a court order stopping the process.

The ward reps picked Kabaru member of county assembly Duncan Gituanja, an ally of Governor Nderitu Gachagua, as their new majority leader, replacing Jesse Kamuri.

Mr Gituanja got 20 votes beating his fellow contestants Mr George Gichuki (Karima Ward) and Wamagana Ward rep Jesse Makuri who did not receive any votes.

Only the 20 MCAs allied to Mr Gituanja showed up for the election that was conducted through signing at the Unity Hotel in Nyeri.

The number of those who had initially supported Mr Gituanja dropped after four MCAs withdrew their support.

They included Mr Njoroge Githaiga (Rugi Ward), Mr Stephen Mwaniki (Dedan Kimathi Ward), Mr George Gichuki, who was one of the contestants, and Ndirangu Wangai (Iriani-Othaya Ward).

Members signed sheets of paper where names of the candidates were written.

QUESTIONED ELECTION PROCEDURE

However, in a letter addressed to the party whip dated November 18, the party chairman Onyango Oloo, had questioned the election procedure and proposed to the Chief Whip James Thieri to postpone the election to November 21.

“As a party we take great exception to the proposed manner of conducting elections. The office directs that the elections shall be held and supervised by this office,” stated the letter.

On his part, Mr Thieri said that he had not been served with the court orders stopping the election.

He said that he had also received the green light from the Mr Oloo to conduct elections.

“I have confirmed with the speaker that he was not served with any court orders as alleged by some party members.

“Every member of TNA was aware of the meeting so we will proceed as planned,” he said.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Gituanja said he would use his position to unite the people of Nyeri and get services delivered to them.

“I am very delighted to be the last majority leader in the county. I will use my first 200 days in office to ensure that stubborn and underperforming county executives have been shown the door,” said Mr Gituanja.

The new majority leader was expected to assume office Thursday afternoon when the house resumes its normal sitting.

COURT ORDER

The election was conducted shortly after Lady Justice Abigael Mshilla of Nyeri High Court ordered Mr Kimuri to continue serving as the leader of Majority of the Nyeri county assembly.

“The status quo of the majority leader be maintained until hearing and determination of the petition” said Lady Justice Mshilla.

Through his lawyer Munene Ng’ang’a, Mr Kibuu moved to the court last week on Friday under a certificate of agency and obtained orders stopping new election of the leader of majority.

Mr Kibuu has been battling his removal from office since August 2014.

During the elections conducted on July 29, 2014, TNA party removed Mr Kibuu and in his place elected Mr Kamuri.

Mr Kibuu has sued Speaker David Mugo, TNA and Mr Kamuri for his removal from office.

The respondents, through their lawyers, said they were ready to obey court orders.

The case will be heard on February 16, 2016.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION