Inside Politics

Race for Kisumu County Speaker post hots up before polls

Monday, September 5th, 2022 00:30 | By
Kisumu County Assembly. PHOTO/Courtesy
Kisumu County Assembly. PHOTO/Courtesy

The battle for Kisumu County Assembly Speaker post has split the political class into two camps ahead of the elections this week.

The race pits former Speaker Elisha Oraro from Kisumu West against former Leader of Majority Samwel Ongou’ from the larger Kano clan.

At the weekend, a number of MCAs retreated to Nakuru county, where they held a secret retreat to decide who to elect as the Speaker.

Sources privy to the political developments confided to the press that power balance and MCAs’ welfare dominated the negotiations.

Some MCAs elected for the first time, were of the opinion that since Seme and Nyakach had produced the Governor and his Deputy, they must balance seats

Seme produced governor Prof Anyang Nyong’o while Nyakach fielded Mathews Owili as his Deputy. Both have been sworn in and are working. Nyong’o has taken a neutral stand because both contenders are his close friends

MCAs will be sworn in on September 7.   Already, intense lobbying has kicked off with meetings after meetings being held in hotels to strategise on how to grasp the Speaker’s post.

So far, the MCAs are split in two camps.  One faction is backing Oraro’s re-election as the Speaker. Oraro is also being fronted by Dr Owili, while the Ong’ou faction is supported by Kisumu senator Prof Tom Ojienda and a Chief officer in Nyong’o’s government, Alphonse Ouya.

Both Owili and Prof Ojienda have shown interest to run for the governor in 2027 and they have already asked their supporters to begin marketing them in earnest for the position.

Available vacancies

Another contender in the race is an MCA from Nyakach, Vincent Odhiambo. He wants to be Leader of Majority in the House while backing Ong’ou for the speaker slot. While the party always has a say on who becomes the speaker, there is an open attempt to defy the party, by MCAs to pick on their own candidate.

On the other hand, Owili exuded confidence that Oraro will win. He spoke as both sides vowed to share the available vacancies equitably. The positions open for contest are Speaker, his Deputy, Leader of Majority, Minority leader and the party Chief whip.

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