Conflict in Murang’a County Assembly over suspension of Kanyenya-ini MCA
The move by the Murang’a County Assembly to suspend a member for four months over a WhatsApp message has split Murang’a leadership as women leaders take issue.
The suspension of Kanyenya-ini Ward MCA Grace ‘city’ Nduta has seen female legislators from Murang’a launch scathing attacks against county assembly speaker Johnston Mukuha calling for his impeachment.
This comes as women parliamentarians through their caucus, the Kenya women parliamentarians (KEWOPA) expressed their bitterness over the suspension of the Murang’a MCA over raising concerns on the deteriorating standard of health.
They have vowed to hold demonstrations outside the assembly until the decision is reversed.
Murang’a woman representative Betty Maina and Maragua MP Mary Wamaua said the speaker ought to have solved the matter in an amicable way rather than setting up a motion to have the MCA sent away.
KEWOPA, speaking in parliament buildings said it will challenge the move in court if the assembly doesn’t rescind the decision saying the suspension of the female MCA is a dangerous precedent and they have taken it seriously.
Nominated Senator Veronica Maina who hails from Murang’a county led termed It as coercion and suppression of women’s voices.
‘This must not happen anywhere and women must not be made to be compliant to certain voices that force them to behave in a certain way, I would urge the assembly to immediately take remedial action and failure to do that, KEWOPA will take legal action and ensure she is reinstated back,” Said Veronica
Dagoretti North MP Beatrice Elachi said they stood in solidarity with Grace Nduta and all individuals who face similar acts of suppression and discrimination.
“We demand an end to persecution of individuals based on their exercise of free speech and right to criticize and as a society, we must value and celebrate diversity of opinion and support inclusion of all voices,” said Elachi
On her part, Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo said it was barbaric and backward that someone would want to tell a woman what to say.
‘What she is being victimised of saying is absolutely nothing, some of us say outrageous things and we are still in parliament women should not be victimized for speaking,” she said
Speaking at Kanyenya ini market, Kangema sub-county, Betty and Wamaua alleged that the suspension from the assembly and removal from the three committees was politically instigated.
Betty said the speaker seems to have been settling scores with Grace Nduta over their personal matters, adding that this is unacceptable.
She said the MCA did nothing wrong by making remarks on the status of the health sector in the county and it should have served as an eye-opener to the executive.
“It is very wrong for the speaker to suspend the MCA and we are urging him to retract the ruling and have her recalled back with immediate effect,” she said.
“If Nduta is not allowed to attend the assembly sessions next week, we shall instigate to have the speaker impeached from his position” added Betty
Wamaua on her part accused the speaker of abusing his powers and office claiming he seems not to understand his role.
The MP said the power and privileges committee is only supposed to discuss matters which take place within the precincts of the assembly but not anywhere else.
Further, Wamaua said the remarks made by Nduta were factual and she ought not to have been crucified for telling the truth.
“I have received a lot of complaints from residents in my area over poor health services in the public hospitals and this is what the MCA was pointing out,” she remarked.
She also pointed an accusing finger at nominated female MCAs who are on record supporting the suspension of their colleague saying they should have been on the frontline to defend her.
“It’s a shame that they could not stand with one of their own yet they were nominated to represent the interest of women” added the MP
The duo also urged Governor Irungu Kang’ata to intervene in the matter saying he must be fully aware of what is happening in the assembly.
Kanyenyaini ward residents also expressed their displeasure over the matter saying with the suspension of their representative, there will be no one to look at their interest.
The residents threatened to join KEWOPA on Tuesday for the demonstration at the county assembly.
The MCA was suspended for allegedly breaching her privileges.
Grace was suspended after the adoption of a report by the assembly’s committee of Power and Privileges which recommended that she be stripped of her privileges for allegedly making some demeaning sentiments some weeks back on a social media group.
The verdict by the committee which was probing the MCA over remarks she reportedly made on a WhatsApp group known as ‘Murang’a county politics'(MCP) condemning her colleagues for what she termed as failing in their work to oversight the county government