Speaker Ken Ng’ondi Duped, Hits Headwinds On Day One In Office

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  • Mr Ng’ondi has called for immediate investigations into the matter which has thrown MCAs from the majority Azimio Coalition party into disarray.

By Adieri Mulaa

Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Ken Ng’ondi has run into headwinds after he was duped to announce a ‘fake list’ of Azimio Coalition nominees for the House leadership positions.

Consequently, Speaker Ng’ondi has rescinded the communication he relayed to the Assembly Thursday last week and revoked the purported nominees “in totality”.

Further, in an internal memo he wrote to Members of the County Assembly dated 30th September, 2022 which The Times is privy to, Mr Ng’ondi has called for immediate investigations into the matter which has thrown MCAs from the majority Azimio Coalition party into disarray.

“I direct that urgent investigations be carried out and stern disciplinary measures be taken against all officers who contrived to occasion the embarrassment”, said the Speaker in a four-page memo.

In the memo, Speaker Ng’ondi asserts that there was no official communication from Azimio Coalition regarding nominees to the party House leadership positions.

“From the foregoing, it is evident that the communication so relayed by the Chair on Thursday 29th September, 2022 had no basis in law or the Standing Orders”, he says.

Nairobi City County Assembly Speaker Ken Ng’ondi enters the Chamber upon his election on September 29, 2022 Photo: Adieri Mulaa 

Upon his election on Thursday September 29, 2022, Speaker Ng’ondi read out names of Azimio MCAs who had purportedly been nominated to various leadership positions in the House.

Mr Ng’ondi beat his sole competitor, Hassan Robow Mohamed by garnering 68 votes against 55. Mr Robow is former Leader of Majority in Mandera county assembly and also a former councillor in Nairobi where the y served together.

Mr Robow vied for Kamukunji constituency seat in the August 9 general election on a UDA ticket and lost to Yusuf Hassan of Jubilee Party.

Mihang’o Ward MCA Kados Paul Muiruri Kiguathi was elected Deputy Speaker unopposed after two other candidates, California Ward MCA Hashim Athuman Kamau and Clay City Ward MCA Samora Mwaura withdrew from the race in his favour.

Out-going Nairobi City County Assembly Speaker Speaker Benson Mutura hands over to his successor, Mr Ken Ng’ondi at the Office of the Speaker, City Hall, Nairobi.

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna, nominated Senator Betty Syengo, Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris, Lang’ata MP  Felix Odiwuor Jalang’o and Makadara MP George Aladwa were among the leaders who sat at the Speaker’s gallery through the lengthy proceedings of the first sitting.

Nairobi City County Assembly Clerk, Mr Edward Gichana, doubled as the Chair and returning officer in the election of the House Speaker. Mr Gichana conducted the process with precision, guided by the Constitution, the Elections Act, the County Governments Act, 2012, the House Standing Orders and standard parliamentary procedures.

No sooner had Speaker Ng’ondi sat in his new office than several Members of the majority Azimio Coalition opposed to the list showed their displeasure. Many left the county assembly precincts in droves, expressing disappointment.

Sources told The Times disputes revolved around the position of the Leader of Majority in the assembly and that of a member of the County Assembly Service Board.

The controversial communication which caused embarrassment to the Speaker named five Members of ODM to the leadership positions.

However, Speaker Ng’ondi was on Friday September 30, 2022 compelled to rescind his communication in the Assembly on the previous day.

“It has since come to my attention that the communication I relayed to the House was incorrect and after further consultation, the said communication was without basis”, says the Speaker in the memo.

He explains that Standing Order 4 (2)(a) spells out the House Business to be transacted in the first sitting, which is administration of oath to all MCAs, election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.

“As such, I hereby direct that the communication dated 29th September, 2022 is rescinded in totality”.

The memo is copied to Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, party leaders for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Jubilee Party, Wiper Democratic Movement and the Clerk of Nairobi City County Assembly.

It reads in part: “The purported nomination of Hon. Peter Imwatok, as Majority Leader, Hon. John Ndile Musila – Deputy Leader of Majority, Hon. Moses Ogeto – Majority Whip, Hon. Stazo Omung’ala – Deputy Majority Whip and Hon. Catherine Akoth as member of the County Assembly Service Board is hereby revoked and the offices remain vacant until official communication from the nominating political party formally presents its list of leadership in accordance with the Standing Orders”.

Mr Ng’ondi argues in memo that he was not properly in office to have authorised the list to be brought before the House.

“Honourable Members, it is trite law of Parliament and a cardinal rule that the Speaker reserves the right of admission of any Business to be transacted before this August House, which function in certain instances in aided by the House Business Committee”.

The memo is copied to Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, Azimio Coalition party party leader, Orange Democratic Movement party leader, Wiper Democratic Movement party leader and the Clerk of the county assembly.

Thus, Speaker Ng’ondi has distanced himself from the communication he made, pointing out that he had not assumed office when the said communication was received from Azimio Coalition, approved, marked to the Clerk and prepared  for relaying to the House.

“As such, the chair did not approve the said communication or authorise the Clerk to prepare the same”, said the Speaker. 

He adds that: “In fact, the Chair only came about the purported communication for the first time on the floor of the House. This is contrary to all laid down practice and procedure regarding authority of the Chair to determine and approve Business of the House”, Speaker Ng’ondi spelt out.

The House Standing Orders require that any communication regarding leadership of any political party in the House emanate from the party or its organ.

“In the instant case, the Chair has since learnt that his office is indeed not in receipt of any such letter and the communication therefore has no backing”, said the Speaker.

Mr Ng’ondi says that upon further scrutiny, he found that the Office of the Clerk which prepared the communication did not attach the requisite official communication from the political party.

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