Members of the Mandera County Assembly have engaged in a fist fight over the tabling of a report by the Committee on Appointments.
The committee, chaired by Speaker Mohamed Khalif was set to table a report Thursday refusing all the ten nominees recommended to the assembly by Mandera Governor Ali Roba for vetting and approval.
Problem started a few minutes to the 2:30pm session when members in the assembly hall started blowing whistles. MCAs associated to the Jubilee Party started whistling, as a result interrupting the Speaker’s admission into the assembly.
After about an hour of blowing of whistles, the speaker got into the hall as the sergeant-at-arms and his team held firmly to the mace. Efforts by the Speaker to start the day’s assembly were spoiled with louder blowing of whistles. Mr. Khalif, of the Economic Freedom Party (EFP), was forced to suspend the session to 8pm in the middle of fist fighting in the assembly.
Jubilee members, who are the minority in the assembly, blamed EFP of snubbing all the ten nominees forwarded to the assembly by Governor Roba. “We are conscious of the arrangement to adopt the report rejecting the CEC nominees by the EFP members using the domination of numbers and we shall not agree to that,” lamented Mr Jimale Hassan, the leader of minority.
Whilst nominating the CECs, Governor Roba retained five members who served in his first term in office. Mr Roba dropped some other five members and brought in new faces.
Nominated MCA, Issack Dahir, known for his frolics, tried to kick out members opposing the motion but his attempts were unproductive. In June 2016, Mr Dahir, then Rhamu Ward MCA, took hold of the mace and dropped it in pit latrine, stopping a supplementary budget debate.
“Whether EFP use power or not we shall not agree to [the rejection] of all the CECs as suggested by this report,” said Mr Hassan. Majority Leader Abdi Hassan defended the committee’s recommendation stating that all the nominees were dropped on uprightness matters.
“All these nominees have integrity issues and those kept by the governor have pending bills which cannot be explained how they came up and how they will be settled,” he said.