WAJIR—The County assembly of Wajir is set to meet one last time today before the members, mostly disgruntled, seek redress at the courts following months of in-fighting over the nomination of the County Assembly Service Board members.
The matter has been dragging for months now, stalling several legislative affairs in the county and assembly operations.
The disgruntled members led by the Diif Ward MCA said their victory to serve in the Board was usurped by the Speaker, Ibrahim Yakub who declared Tarbaj MCA, Issa Garore as the winner in March despite stiff opposition.
The declaration caused the Diif representative to dash with the mace, the symbol of authority in the chambers.
It’s 2 pm local time in Wajir town. The town center looks deserted save for few men chatting under shade of makeshift structure housing Miraa vendor.
The simmering heat has sent everyone home. At the main roundabout and adjacent to the former District Commissioners office is the formerly town hall.
The hall now serves as the county assembly chambers. Inside are men and women—30 elected and 17 nominated representatives—charged with the role to transact business on behalf of the people of Wajir, but for nine months business has not been as usual.
The Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) are mainly high school leavers with little experience to apprehend the legislative technicalities required by their new-found roles.
Due to the clan politics of the county, majority of the MCAs are serving thanks to the high voter turnout of their clansmen. When selecting a representative for the county assembly, education level and experience are the least considered factors.
“Some of the MCAs have never had a taste of what responsibility is all about,’’ Mohamed Yare, a voter in Township told Kulan Post when we sought the views of the public on the performance of the county assembly.
“Even the head of the assembly, the speaker, is unmarried,’’ he added, to the uniform nod of tens of people who milled around to give their opinion on the assembly matters.
True to his word, at least four members tied the knot since they took oath of office nine months ago with score others considering to change marital status “soon.”
We established that the disapproval of the county assembly members by the public is high. Some of the people we spoke to jokingly referred to the assembly chambers as the “ boxing house” due to the number of times the members fought, literally, in the chambers.
Just last week, the members went violent and even hurled plastic bottles at the speaker who was whisked away after he insisted on other business apart from the bid to establish the board.
The members opposed to the speaker said they would move to the court if the speaker would not name the members of the board.
It is quite interesting times in Wajir County as skeptical voters enjoy the drama at the chambers from a safe distance; safe enough just not to get injured by the result of their blind clan support.