Battle for Nairobi County Assembly Speaker’s seat intensifies
The battle to control the Nairobi County Assembly has begun in earnest as factions within Raila Odinga’s Azimio One Kenya coalition warm up to take over the Speaker and Majority Leader positions.
Sources intimated to People Daily Digital that during the campaign period in the run-up to the August 9, polls, Azimio leaders had earmarked the Speaker’s position for the ODM party since the governor and deputy governor candidates were from Jubilee and Wiper.
And now the race is between ODM director of legal affairs Anthony Moturi BwÓrwochi and former County Assembly deputy speaker Ken Ngondi, who served under the late Alex Ole Magelo between 2013-17.
Moturi is credited with restoring discipline at Orange house and also guiding the party leadership on key policy matters. He is touted as the best bet to take over the leadership of the city Assembly.
“I have the credentials to be the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker. Being an advocate and having been a long-term legal advisor to the ODM party, I believe I have what it takes for this seat. We need to preside over an Assembly that has quality legislators," Moturi said.
The source further stated that within the Azimio circles, the speaker’s position was reserved for the Kisii/Gusii community since they had lost key representation in the city when Raila tagged former Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, who is now the Kisii Governor-elect.
“He is having the backing of the party leadership and the Gusii community leadership. He is our hope as the People from Gusii to also have a leadership position in City politics. He deserves it," a source, who sought anonymity, said.
Moturi is credited with streamlining the membership contributions at the Orange party and also steering the radical changes of various party policies and internal rules.
And apart from that, Moturi is also a member of various party committees and task forces where he doubles as the technical lead given his successful legal career.
The county has 85 elected MCAs with Raila’s Azimio coalition bagging a majority of 45 MCAs, of which 35 are elected on an ODM ticket, Jubilee (six) while Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party got four seats.
President-elect William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) scooped 35 seats, his Chama Cha Kazi affiliate one while Independent candidates won two seats.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is yet to conduct polls on the Mukuru Kwa Njenga ward, which will be conducted on Monday. It is not clear who will win the seat.
With lobbying still going on, Azimo is yet to make public which candidate they have settled on despite affiliate parties fronting individuals.
Jubilee party with its six members has fronted Harrison Wangoro as their speaker nominee. Wangoro contested the Embakasi North parliamentary seat on a Jubilee ticket but lost to a candidate from the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
However, some Ward representatives elected under Jubilee have since rejected Wangoro, arguing that they had already settled on a different person.
“In Nairobi, we have already settled on another person. We made this decision way before the elections. Wangoro is one of us but on this, we tend to disagree,” Mihango MCA-elect Paul Kados said.
Wangoro has, however, dismissed Kados’ sentiments, maintaining that the former has no authority to speak on behalf of the party.
“People should stop taking Kados seriously. I am the Jubilee candidate and our SG has done this through writing. There is no way we will let this go. The Speaker’s position belongs to us,” he said.
DP Ruto’s UDA is also expected to front a candidate for the position of speaker and the battle may boil down to various interests including representation in the city.
Currently, the Luyha community has Senator Edwin Sifuna (elected), and several MPs including George Aladwa (Makadara), Tim Wanyonyi (Westlands) and Beatrice Elachi (Dagoreth North).
Luo community has several MPs including Peter Orero (Kibra), Babu Owino (Embakasi East), Felix Odiwuor aka Jalango (Langata), Anthnoy Oluoch (Mathare), TJ Kajwang (Ruaraka).
The Kikuyu community has the deputy governor position and Lion’s share of MPs including Woman Rep Esther Passaris, Embakasi West Mark Mwenje, and Ronald Karauri of Kasarani while the Somali are well represented by the Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan.
Julius Mawathe of Embakasi South represents the Kamba nation.