Speaker Elachi turns away clerk in spite of state agency clearance

Friday, July 24th, 2020 00:00 |
John Ngwele. Photo/File

Wrangles at the Nairobi County assembly escalated yesterday after Speaker Beatrice Elachi vowed to reject the reinstatement of Jacob Ngwele (above) as the Clerk of the Assembly.

Ngwele, who returned to his office yesterday accompanied by some Ward Representatives from the Jubilee side, was escorted under tight security.

Elachi, however, maintained that the reinstatement was unconstitutional.

“We will not allow him back because as far as I am concerned, we have already completed the recruitment process for his replacement,” Elachi said shortly after Ngwele took over office.

 However, on his part, Ngwele held that he was the bona fide Clerk of the Assembly having been cleared by the Central Bank of Kenya and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

“I’m not leaving this office, I am the clerk of the county assembly. The law is very clear and I am ready to proceed with my duties,” said Ngwele.

 Sources at the assembly said that Elachi was keen to have Ngwele replaced by an Edward Gichana.

Ngwele, an ally of governor Mike Sonko, had been out of office since November 2019, after Elachi wrote to EACC, claiming that he was appointed irregularly.

According to documents seen by People Daily, EACC said it is satisfied that Ngwele was properly appointed, after seven months of investigations.

“The commission established that the Nairobi County Assembly and Service Board resolved to absorb and confirm the appointment of Ngwele as shown by minutes of a meeting of June 10, 2014,” EACC said in a letter.

The commission said it had also found that the board confirmed Ngwele following a letter by the Transition Authority, dated January 20, 2014.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) also affirmed the legality of Ngwele’s position after declining the request by Speaker Elachi to have him removed as a signatory of the assembly’s accounts.

CBK through its counsel Kennedy Abuga made it clear that Ngwele is the duly mandated holder of the assembly’s accounts at the CBK even after Elachi wrote numerous letters seeking deactivation of the mandates.

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