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EMBU MCAs cling on position on deadline to resign, say requirement unfair

 Debate on whether Ward Representatives should resign from their current positions dominated the County Assembly of Embu plenary sitting as three members of the house seek promotion to Parliament.

Embu Deputy Speaker Steve Simba is among Ward Reps who term the requirement to resign as unfair and discriminatory. Photo/COURTESY

The National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi pronounced himself on Constitution of Kenya, in Article 99, Section 2(d) which outlines that a sitting MCA will be disqualified from vying as a Member of Parliament if the candidate does not first resign as a Ward Rep before seeking the higher position.

Three Embu MCAs; Deputy Speaker Steve Simba (Runyenjes Central), Morris Muchiri (Kirimari) and Margaret Kariuki (Nominated) are seeking election as Member of National Assembly for Runyenjes, Manyatta and Embu Woman Representative respectively. The trio has declared that they will not be relinquishing their current positions.

Speaking during a County Assembly plenary sitting, Simba asserted that his five-year term as MCA was protected by the law. He said the constitutional requirement for MCAs to resign before vying for higher positions was discriminatory because the same does not apply for other leaders. The Deputy Speaker vowed not to resign.

Muturi directive

Mbeti North MCA Peter Murithi called upon the three MCAs to immediately step down from their current positions to enable them to obtain the necessary clearances from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). He said compliance with the law, plus the directive by the National Assembly Speaker was paramount for their success in national politics.

However, nominated MCA Edna Muisyo called on her colleagues not to resign, saying the aspirants had read the law and sought interpretations from professional legal minds. She added that political adversaries of the hopeful national lawmakers were peddling falsehoods about the requirement to resign, which she termed as misrepresentation of facts.

Temporary Speaker Phillip Nzangi who is also the MCA for Makima Ward termed the constitutional requirement for MCAs to resign before vying as a Member of Parliament as unfair. He said it was unconstitutional to tilt the grounds for competitive politics. Nzangi claimed that the clause was inserted in the constitution by unscrupulous and desperate MPs who feared opposition by Ward Reps.

Nzangi said that time was ripe for constitutional review to amend such offending provisions. In his address, the Temporary Speaker wondered why Members of National Assembly seeking gubernatorial or presidential seats were not required to step down from their current posts. He however remained noncommittal on whether the sitting MCAs seeking parliamentary positions should resign or not.


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