Former MPs get new lease of life in county polls
Four former Members of Parliament have been elected Speaker of County Assembly.
They are immediate former Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire, who was elected Speaker of the Kilifi County Assembly, former Tetu MP Gichuhi Mwangi (Nyeri), former Luanda MP Christopher Omulele (Vihiga) and former Migori MP Owino Likowa (Migori).
Likowa beat four competitors by polling 52 out of 59 to win. An ally of Migori Governor Ochillo Ayacko, Likowa has been in political cold for many years.
In the Kilifi, Mwambire garnered 37 out of the 51 votes cast during the Tuesday election. He is the Kilifi ODM chairman.
Gichuhi, who is a lawyer, served for one term as Tetu MP but lost in UDA nominations to current MP Geoffrey Wandeto.
He beat former nominated MCA Patrick Mutahi who garnered only two votes.
“I want to thank you for giving me an opportunity to serve the people of Nyeri,” he said.
In Kiambu Charles Thiong’o, an ally of Governor Kimani Wamatangi, was elected Speaker after defeating a field of six. Thika-based advocate Daniel Gachau came second.
In Kakamega, efforts by three aspirants, who had been barred from contesting, to serve the assembly’s acting Clerk John Simwa with a court order were unsuccessful.
Former Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito, Brian Lishenga and lawyer Leonard Shimaka had obtained a court order seeking to stop the polls but they could not gain access to the Assembly’s premises.
Police and county officers had barricaded the Assembly while Simwa was presiding over the swearing-in of the 60 elected and 29 nominated MCAs.
“We have been denied access to serve this court order to the Clerk,” Kizito protested.
They said they were shocked on Tuesday when they found their names missing on the list of candidates and moved to court.
While drama played out outside, the newly sworn-in MCAs elected lawyer James Namatsi Speaker.
Namatsi garnered 60 votes followed by Kennedy Kilwake with 26 votes while outgoing Speaker Morris Buluma had three votes.
Former Finance CEC Andrew Wanyonyi is the new Trans-Nzoia County Assembly Speaker after beating former Cherangany MP Wesley Korir (UDA). Korir is a 2012 Boston Marathon winner.
Wanyonyi, who is an ally to outgoing Defense CS Eugene Wamalwa, won with a simple majority garnering 20 votes against Korir’s 13.
“Top on our agenda will be the integration of our people. We hope to demonstrate this in our mandate as the third assembly,” said the Speaker.
In Bungoma, Emmanuel Situma retained his seat when he beat Majimbo Okumu 37 to 24 votes.
Both candidates were from Ford Kenya.
Situma was first elected in 2017.
In Narok, Kenya Kwanza’s Davis Dikirr was elected Speaker when he garnered 34 votes in the second round.
Dikirr, a former NG-CDF manager for Kilgoris constituency, floored his main rival, the Assembly’s pioneer speaker Olooltisati Kamwaro.
The session presided over by Assembly Clerk Mayiani Tuya went to a second round after none of the three candidates attained the two-thirds threshold.
The voting took place after the 48 MCAs – 29 elected and 18 nominated – were sworn in. Kenya Kwanza dominates the House.
In Bomet, Sportpesa 2018 jackpot winner Cosmas Korir was elected Speaker with 32 votes against Weldon Kirui’s six.
Korir, who won Sh208 million mega-jackpot, unsuccessfully ran for the Konoin MP seat in the last election.
In Kwale, Seth Mwatela Kamanza became Speaker by garnering 20 votes in the second round of a hotly contested race.
Kamanza won against Salim Gombeni who obtained 10 votes. Sammy Ruwa, the outgoing Speaker who served two terms, lost in the first round.
In Nakuru, Joel Karuri was elected Speaker with 50 votes in an election that was marked by intense lobbying and behind-the-scenes maneuvers.
Karuri, who vied for Naivasha parliamentary seat in 2017, beat Martin Kagai, who was fronted by Governor Susan Kihika.
“I have no doubt that the caliber of members in this House will live to the spirit of the Constitution,” Karuri said in his victory speech.
In Baringo, Vincent Kemboi won the seat with 31 votes against his closest opponent Noah Chepkech’s 14 votes.
In Homa Bay, former MCA Julius Gaya was elected Speaker. The former Central Karachuonyo Ward Rep garnered 40 votes to emerge the winner in the polls presided over by the Assembly Clerk Faith Apuko.
His close challenger former Gwassi North MCA Evans Marieba got 14 votes.
—Reporting by Oliver Musembi, Seth Mwaniki, Clement Kamau, Dennis Lumiti, Emmanuel Masinde, Yusuf Masibo, George Sayagie, Munira Mandano, Noah Cheploen, Noven Owiti and Kepher Otieno