Shocking details have emerged of how former Nairobi City County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura and former acting Clerk Gavin Castro colluded with Members of the County Assembly and paid themselves 90 million shillings as sitting allowance for attending a virtual meeting. The Weekly Vision has discovered that the meetings for which the allowances were paid had been held virtually as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions, no physical meetings could be held.
Attempts by our writer to get relevant information such as invitations sent for the virtual meetings, date and time when the meetings were held, members who logged into the meetings, how long the meetings lasted, and the resolutions of the meetings have so far been futile.
In another shocking revelation, the County Assembly Service Board chaired by former Speaker Beatrice Elachi placed an advert inviting members of staff to submit applications for consideration for promotion. Interestingly, only two (2) working days’ notice was given for the submission of applications which was too short considering the advert was placed on Thursday 25th June 2020 and closed on Monday 29th June 2020. Elachi resigned in August 2020 while Mutura was elected speaker in the same month of August 2020.
Records indicate that interviews for all the positions were recorded as having been conducted on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5 July 2020 which was over a weekend and at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when there were travel restrictions. It is widely believed that it was a well-executed plan and restrictive as qualified staff were excluded from the process for filling the vacant positions. Following the process, the County Assembly irregularly promoted four Directors who had not met the minimum qualifications for the jobs advertised without giving justifications for their promotion.
Further, a committee of Delegated Legislation held nine (9) meetings which did not have any agenda except confirmation of previous meeting minutes. Further, three (3) of the above meetings did not meet the required quorum of one-third of the membership hence contravening Standing Order No.170(2), therefore, the sitting allowances paid for these meetings were irregular.