Two ward representatives and a Jubilee Party official from Murang’a County have been injured after a disagreement during a meeting in Kiambu.
The exclusive meeting which turned ugly had been called Friday by a section of MCAs at a Kiambu hotel and resulted in the county assembly leadership being replaced.
The MCAs and a section of the party leadership opposed to the plot arrived uninvited to disrupt the meeting that was held at Sahara West Park in Ruaka, Kiambu County, claiming it was a coup plotted to serve selfish interests and external forces and was against the party procedure.
The two rival groups traded spats outside the hotel which escalated into a fistfight, forcing the conveners to instruct youths who were in the venue to eject their opponents on grounds that they were intending to disrupt the meeting.
The rival groups of MCAs and Jubilee Party officials in a bitter exchange at the Sahara West Park in Ruaka, Kiambu County on January 5, 2017. The altercation degenerated into a fistfight. PHOTO | ERIC WAINAINA | NATION MEDIA GROUP
During the fracas, Gatanga Ward MCA Nahashon Gachuhi suffered head injuries and bruises on the body after he was hit with a stone and roughed up by the youths while his Kamachari counterpart got serious bruises on his back, face and abdomen.
Murang’a Jubilee Party Deputy Secretary-General Charles Njoroge, who is also the Kigumo Constituency party chairman was injured on his lower jaw and got bruises following beatings from the youths who escorted them out of the hotel.
The victims reported the matter at the neighbouring Runda Police Station and later sought treatment at the Agha Khan Hospital in Nairobi.
Trouble started when a section of the Jubilee Party officials who were in the meeting which kicked off at about 8am stormed out in objection of the planned replacement of the assembly leadership, saying the move was being done illegally.
BARRED FROM HOTEL
Immediately after they stepped out of the meeting, it emerged that some MCAs had been barred from entering the hotel following an order from the MCAs and the management, forcing the aggrieved party officials to intervene and they were allowed in.
As the two groups traded accusations and counter accusations, they became unruly, forcing the organisers to order their ejection on grounds that they had been hired to disrupt the meeting.
When calm returned, the organisers addressed journalists and announced the new assembly leadership.
Mr Amos Murigi of Kimorori Wempa Ward replaced Eric Kamande as majority leader while Peter Muiruri took over as deputy majority leader from Ms Joyce Wambui, who was picked as the majority chief whip, replacing Simon Wamunya.
Gatanga MCA Nahashon Gichuhi who was injured during the fracas at Sahara West Park in Ruaka, Kiambu County on January 5, 2017. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
JOURNALISTS NOT ALLOWED
In the meeting which journalists were kept away, Duncan Muturi was picked as the deputy chief whip.
According to Mr Murigi, they decided to change the House leadership on grounds of incompetence and selfish interets, arguing that it had failed in its mandate.
But those opposed to the move claimed that the team was being sponsored by external forces, some spearheaded by a principal secretary and prominent businessmen from the region with a view to destabilising Governor Mwangi Wa Iria’s government.
“The plan is being spearheaded by a principal secretary and tycoons who want to take over the House leadership. Their next plot is to eject the clerk and the Speaker so that they bring the governor down,” Mr Njoroge said.
According to Mr Njoroge, the removal of the House leadership should have been done by a disciplinary committee appointed by the party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju.
The committee, he said, should have given the House leadership a fair hearing before deciding on whether to suspend, fine or eject them from their positions, saying any other procedure was illegal.
Mr Wambugu claimed the plot had been hatched by slightly above half the number of Jubilee MCAs, and was not the position of the entire House, adding that the MCAs were unhappy because the Mr Kamande-led team had refused to succumb to pressure from the members to craft plans to extort Mr Wairia through threats and intimidation.
But the newly elected majority leader rubbished the claims that they had overthrown the House leadership illegally and in the interest of external forces, saying they want the House to have good stewardship.