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Inside Politics

Lobbying as CoG divided ahead of crucial elections

Thursday, January 27th, 2022 06:52 | By
Embu Governor Martin Wambora before the Senate committee to respond to county audit queries. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

Kenya’s 47 governors will this morning hold their annual elections to pick a new executive after weeks of intense lobbying in a high-stakes battle which threatened to tear the lobby apart.

The high-stakes elections is pitting Raila Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja on the one hand and a combined force of Kenya Kwanza Alliance of Deputy President William Ruto, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula on the other.

People Daily understands governors were last evening trying to reach a consensus on the new leadership of the Council of Governors (CoG) to avoid what they term as “sporadic war among brothers.”

A source at the CoG secretariat said the county bosses were reaching out to the candidates separately in an effort to salvage themselves from interference from outside forces.

In today’s election, the county chiefs will also elect their vice chairman, council whip, and chairs of committees.

The council’s office-bearers are eligible for one year term, renewable once.
Embu Governor Martin Wambora, who is the incumbent and serving in the first term is seeking re-election.

Wambora, who succeeded his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya, is eligible for a second term. Currently, he appears to command a majority support of the more than 30 governors under the Azimio La Umoja banner.

He is seeking to defend his seat alongside his deputy Kisii Governor James Ongwae.

Wambora and Ongwae are instrumental in Raila’s presidential campaigns.
Wambora is facing opposition from Ruto’s allies who have fronted outgoing Uashi-Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago for the chairmanship’s position.

The Ruto camp is also fronting Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthoki Njuki to deputise Mandago while his Nandi Governor Stephen Sang has been fronted for the whip’s position.

Ruto’s camp enjoys the support of among others Hillary Barchok (Bomet), Paul Chepkwony (Kericho), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Stanley Kiptis (Baringo) and Josephat Nanok (Turkana).

However, Wambora exuded confidence about retaining his seat saying he has no formidable opposition from the Kenya Kwanza alliance.

“You know the only people opposed to me are the expanded hustlers of UDA, ANC and Ford Kenya whose support is dwindling. However, they cannot face me or confront me, they can only backbite me, because I can tell them off,” he told People Daily in an interview.

The team picked today will take over at a defining moment when the country is headed to a General Election where governors serving their second term and final term governors will be critical in deciding the direction the country will take.

The election will be held at the Tamarind Hotel, Nairobi.ANC and Ford Kenya whose support is dwindling.

However, they cannot face me or confront me, they can only backbite me, because I can tell them off,” he told People Daily in an interview.

Should there be no consensus by this morning, then the county bosses will have to go for elections.

The team picked today will take over at a defining moment when the country is headed to a general election where governors serving their second term and final term governors will be critical in deciding the direction the country will take.

The incumbents, it would appear, have limited options for their next course of action in the run-up to the August 8th elections, with the only ‘superior’ seat to the one they currently hold being the presidency.
The election will be held at the Tamarind hotel, Nairobi.

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