A section of members of West Pokot county assembly has protested over being denied a chance to participate in the budget estimates pronouncement for the financial year 2020-2021 in a plenary and an open-air session for all. The assembly suffered a setback following a no-show of the county executive member of finance in the county Augustine Lotodo in the assembly. Members faulted the speaker of the assembly Catherine Mukenyang for not conducting the house business in the open as it had earlier been planned, and instead conducted the house business inside the chambers with 11 members, according to the Ministry of Health regulations on Covid-19. The 23 MCAs who were outside in the erected tent faulted the speaker for failing to communicate on the new county assembly leaders’ meeting changes.
The row pitting the assembly speaker and a section of the members of the county assembly over the leadership changes is far from over after their wars escalated on during the afternoon session. This comes barely a few days after county Kanu leadership ousted the county assembly majority leader, Thomas Ng’olesya, who was replaced by Weiwei ward representative, David Kapelisiwa, and chief whip Maddy Polokou who was replaced by Endough ward representative, Evanson Lomadunyi, for not supporting the county government agenda. The swoops have rekindled divisions among the assembly members as both camps vow not to relinquish the positions. This is after the assembly had been closed for one month following wrangles and chaos in the house. Led by the deputy speaker Francis Krop, the MCAs said they were left perturbed outside the tents during the last Wednesday afternoon session only to get a message at 3 o’clock that the sessions were ongoing inside the assembly and were adjourned up to 2.30 pm on Thursday.
They said that they fear the budget may not be adopted following the crisis in the assembly. Speaking to the press outside the assembly, the leaders led by deputy speaker Francis Krop who wants all the sessions conducted in the open air, accusing the speaker of not adhering to the stipulated law and order. The MCAs lambasted the speaker for conducting house business like dealing with her “farm managers”, citing that they have been secluded and plunged into darkness, not knowing what was going on in the chambers. The members said they are tired of the speaker for allegedly bullying them, and alleged that the speaker had reduced the county assembly chambers into her private home, where she does what she feels suits her personalized interests and test. Weiwei MCA David Kapelisiwa said that MCAs in the assembly have been denied their right as enshrined in the constitution. Endough ward representative, Evanson Lomadunyi, accused the speaker of being biased.