Habiba Ibrahim Hussein, the Nominated Member of the County Assembly (MCA) who lost her seat over the failure to attend plenary sittings for two years has finally come out to address the underlying issues.
Through a statement on Facebook by Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga, she says missed the plenary sittings due to health issues.
Omanga, who has come to her defense has indicated that the MCA had a difficult and complicated pregnancy where she gave birth to a baby girl through a caesarian procedure on November 21, 2018.
Following the difficult pregnancy, the baby developed heart complications suspected to have arisen from the treatment the mother was undergoing during pregnancy.
The baby reportedly died on November 23, despite dedicated efforts by the doctors as her condition had deteriorated due to a blocked A-V valve.
According to the statement, Habida’s illness was aggravated due to the death of her baby and has since been in and out of the hospital where another surgery was done to remove her gallbladder and fibroids.
“Nothing is as devastating to any mother as the loss of a child, and the death of Baby Shadia only aggravated the illness of Hon. Habiba. Ever since, Hon. Habiba has been admitted to hospital severally, the first time being barely four (3) months after delivery when she underwent surgery to remove her gallbladder and fibroids,” reads part of the statement.
Omanga has come to the MCAs defense alluding that she is a mother hence understands the challenges that come with it, worse case losing a child.
Apparently, during the 17 months that Habida has been at the hospital, she has visited several doctors, with receipts and documents affirming the same.
Here is a list of the doctors and hospitals said to have been visited:
Dr. Sequiera Evan Gynaecologist (Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi), Dr. Nathan Gatheru Thagana Gyaenogolost (Nairobi Hospital), Dr. Zipporah Gatheru (pediatrician who took care of the baby after delivery), Dr. Naomi Gachara (baby Shadia’s cardiologist before she died), Dr Mahesh Chudasama (Mombasa Hospital) and Dr. Swabra Swaleh (Premier Hospital, Nyali).
Omanga additionally criticized the Speaker Beatrice Elachi for what she terms attacking another woman and trying to politicize her pain and agony.
“It is beyond comprehension how Hon. Beatrice Elachi, the Nairobi City County Assembly Speaker and a fellow woman, allowed such a reckless and irresponsible statement to be made on the floor of the House, without a bother to demand authentication of the wild claims that were made,” reads the statement.
The statement adds, “To me, on this particular issue, she comes off as the classic example of women being the worst enemies of their fellow women, and she owed the women of Kenya an apology.”
Habiba’s seat was declared vacant on Tuesday, March 10, by the Speaker Beatrice Elachi having adopted the report of the select committee on powers and privileges into allegations of absenteeism from plenary sittings.
The committee cited that her absence for two years was gross misconduct against all provisions of representation of the electorate under the Constitution, Leadership and Integrity Act, Elections Act 2011 and also the assembly’s standing orders.
Two other MCAs have also been suspended from the assembly for three months. These are Kileleshwa MCA Elias Otieno and Airbase ward representative Fuad Hussein Mohamed.
Investigations into absenteeism among MCAs were highlighted by Maurice Gare on February 18, where he inquired about the long absenteeism of Kileleshwa MCA Elias Otieno.
Fuad, in his response, while appearing before the committee on February 26 stated that he had attended sittings on two occasions but did not clock in using the biometric device clock.
He pleaded guilty of missing the plenary sittings although he argued that he had a family issue that had taken him close to nine months to resolve. Ideally, he thus apologized to the committee for failing to inform the speaker of his absenteeism.
Otieno, on the other hand, alluded that he had attended the sittings, and linked his woes to Gare, whom he claimed had personal differences with him.