Thursday 24 January 2019
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Writing on the wall for Garissa Speaker — MCAs

Garissa county assembly operations were halted yesterday after county staff protested against alleged abuse and high-handedness by the speaker. Speaker Ibrahim Abass is also facing accusations of disrespect by MCAs who are working to impeach him. Addressing the press at the county assembly compound, the agitated staff pledged to continue with their strike until all their grievances are addressed. Speaking on behalf of the union chair, Hansard editor Abdullahi Olow said they wanted the assembly board to address their concerns but the speaker, whom they were accusing, insisted that he had to chair the meeting. How do we present our grievances to a board headed by the person who is the subject of discussion? The speaker is not honest and this shows arrogance that we have always associated him with, Olow said. Abass is a close confidant of Governor Ali Korane. Last month the governor said powerful politicians in Nairobi are trying to destabilise his administration by removing the speaker. When asked for comment, Abass downplayed accusations and said, I know where all this is coming from. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display( div-gpt-ad-1502866324572-0 ); }); Among grievances the staff wants the board to address is lack of induction for new staff members accused of incompetence by the speaker. Olow said the staff are living in a state of fear since the speaker condemns them even inside the chambers. The speaker has physically assaulted some staff in this county assembly. It s also on record that he has abused staff by using vulgar language, even calling them goons. We have leadership problems, Olow said. MCAs who spoke to the Star said the process of impeaching the speaker has started and is unstoppable. Garissa township MCA and welfare chair Mohamud Omar said the assembly board must respect and listen to complaints of staff . He said all staff have a right to be treated with respect.

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