Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi on Tuesday morning announced that she had resigned from her office via a letter addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta. – By Enock Mukoma.
The resignation has now raised questions on its validity as it failed to follow the laid down procedure in the Constitution and in the County Governments Act.
“I humbly tender my resignation to President Uhuru Kenya. For the last few days there have been life threatening incidences. I appoint my deputy speaker, John Kamangu as acting speaker,” she said in a press statement.
Elachi did not clarify on whether President Kenyatta had accepted her resignation at the time she was leaving the office.
However, the law explicitly provides that a County Assembly Speaker through a written communication to the County Assembly and not to the President.
“The office of speaker shall become vacant (d) if the office holder resigns from office in a letter addressed to the county assembly,” the County Governments (Amendments) Act of 2020 reads in part.
Such a communication would be channeled through the Clerk of the County Assembly.
By law, the outgoing speaker has no powers to appoint a replacement as Elachi purported to do.
The Constitution under Article 178 2 (b) expressly bestows those powers on the members of the County Assembly.
“In the absence of the speaker, another member of the assembly elected by the assembly elected by the assembly shall act as the speaker,” the constitution states.
If Elachi’s strategy is to allow political temperatures to cool off and disown the resignation, she will not be the first politician to do so in recent times.
Jubilee Vice Chairman in 2018 announced his resignation from his party position after uproar over his attacks on Deputy President William Ruto.
A few months later, Murathe resurfaced at the Jubilee Headquarters claiming that President Kenyatta had declined his resignation.