The Kerugoya High Court on Wednesday invalidated a move that removed 12 elected MCAs in Kirinyaga County from being chairpersons of various Assembly Committees four months ago.
The High Court Judge, Lady Justice Lucy Gitari while annulling the removal said the move was un-procedural as it had undermined the fundamental rights of the said MCAs.
At the courtroom where the ruling lasted for a whole hour, Gitari noted that at the time the 12 were removed, there was no Assembly Speaker since David Wachira Githanda had already tendered his resignation.
She said Githanda had tendered his resignation on July 31 while the said removal took place on August 16 in the absence of a Speaker making the process un-procedural as it violated assembly standing orders.
Justice Gitari said the only business allowed under the Standing Orders would be for one of the members of the house to assume the role of the Speaker as they elect another Speaker to conduct the business of the House.
The Leader of Majority started the whole saga after moving a vote of no confidence to have the removal of some of the elected Members of the County Assembly accusing them of being ineffective and replacing them with nominated MCAs.
Gitari said there was no dispute that the Speaker wrote a letter of resignation which the members approved in the business of the House.
“Article 128 of the Constitution makes provisions for election of the Speaker and should have been followed before the members engaged in conducting any business of the House,” she said.
After the ruling, the petitioner and Wamumu Ward MCA Baptista Kanga said it was a win for Kirinyaga people.
Kanga said it was Wanjiku who was suffering since nothing could move at the Assembly as a result of the deadlock.
He said Members of the County Assembly should forget their differences and work together for service delivery to Kirinyaga people.
“We were duly elected from our respective Wards during the 2017 general elections and later got elected as chairmen of the respective Assembly Committees but due to our uncompromising stance, Murango and his colleagues started waging war on us hence the un-procedural removal,” he said
But immediately after the ruling, Assembly Majority Leader, Kamau Murango declared his team would now exploit the loop holes the court had pointed out to dislodge the 12 MCAs once and for all.
Murango who was in the courtroom accompanied by a handful of his colleagues vowed to ensure the 12 did not chair any of the crucial Assembly Committees.
“Now that we have known where we went wrong when removing these MCAs from the committees, we are going to embark on an urgent mission to ensure all the procedures are followed and edge them out of the way,” he said
Other MCAs who had been removed were Gudson Muchina (Tebere), Fredrick Bundi (Njukiine), Pius Njogu (Thiba), Peter Njomo (Mutithi), Sammy Maina (Nyangati), Johnson Muraguri (Kiine), Kinyua Wangui (Mutira), Mathew Ireri (Ngariama), Harrison Ngiria (Kanyekini), Andrew Gitari (Inoe) and Patrick Chomba of Kabare .
They had sued the Clerk to the Assembly as the first respondent and the Attorney General respectively.
The Assembly is yet to elect a substantive Speaker with Joel Wagura, the Kariti Ward MCA and who was the Deputy being the acting Speaker.
Githanda served for just about one year before he resigned on personal reasons.
Wangechi Githinji was the first Assembly Speaker with the current Assembly having 20 elected MCAs and 13 nominated ones.