Inside Politics

Top coalitions to face off in county Speaker contests

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022 00:32 | By
Bungoma County Assembly. PHOTO/Courtesy
Bungoma County Assembly. PHOTO/Courtesy

Members of County Assemblies countrywide are electing Speakers following weeks of intense lobbying by candidates and governors.

Some of the contestants have dropped out for various reasons.

In Kiambu, outgoing County Assembly Speaker Stephen Ndicho and former Senator Isaac Mwaura have pulled out of the race, leaving three contestants.

Ndicho said he would be involved in “national chores” while Mwaura did not give reasons for his withdrawal.

Among those seeking the Speaker’s seat is Thika-based advocate Daniel Gachau, Charles Thiong’o, another advocate who lost the UDA ticket for Githunguri constituency to Gathoni Wamuchomba and former Kabete parliamentary aspirant Charles Chege ‘Fresh’.

Out of the 92 MCAs, 60 are elected and 32 are nominated. The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has the majority.

Governor Kimani Wamatangi is reportedly torn between Gachau and Thiong’o both of whom are strong supporters of President William Ruto’s UDA. MCAs are also said to be divided on whom to elect between the two.

Karori quits

Members will also elect the Leader of Majority from four candidates, with Kalimoni Ward MCA Geoffrey Mucheke touted as a frontrunner.

Ng’enda Ward MCA Joe Kigara of Jubilee is so far unopposed in the Leader of Minority contest. Jubilee has five MCAs, Tujibebe and CCK have three each while three are Independent.

In Uasin-Gishu, lawyer Kipchumba Karori, who was initially seen as the favourite to win the seat, has bowed out of the race leaving four candidates.

The four are former Chief Whip David Sing’oei, Lands Chief Officer Ruth Chelashaw, former Speaker Isaac Terer and lawyer Christopher Mitei.

Sources told PD that Karori has been promised a position in Ruto’s government. The seat was previously held by David Kiplagat who was elected Soy MP in last month’s election.

In Baringo, the candidates include lawyer Joseph Tarus, who unsuccessfully vied for the Baringo South parliamentary seat, Vincent Kemboi, a Nairobi-based lawyer, Noah Chepkech and Emily Kiptui who unsuccessfully vied for Baringo Central parliamentary seat.

In Elgeyo Marakwet, outgoing Speaker Philemon Sabulei is defending the seat. He is up against lawyer Esther Kibore, university don Andrew Kiplagat and Alex Cherop.

“I want to prove that women can also lead,” Kibore, 27, said.

In Narok, clan politics is a major factor. Kenya Kwanza’s preferred candidate Davis Dikirr comes from the minority Siria clan.

Dikirr, a former NG-CDF manager for Kilgoris constituency, is running against former Speakers Olooltisati Kamwaro and his successor Nkoidila ole Lankas, both from the popular Purko clan.

In Homa Bay, the candidates include former county Attorney John Apolo, former Central Karachuonyo MCA Julius Gaya and director of Youth Empowerment Bridge Organization Africa Fredrick Gaya.

Others are former Gwassi North MCA Evans Marieba, educationist Innocent Masara and Pascal Odhiambo.

Bungoma race

In Bungoma, four candidates will contest the Speaker’s position. They are  former MCA Henry Majimbo Okumu, advocates Phyllis Wangwe and Emmanuel Mukhebi and Noel Nyongesa Makeni.

In Kwale, seven candidates will be vying for the Speaker seat after former Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari dropped his interest.

They are outgoing Speaker Sammy Ruwa, Patrick Mangale, Juma Lumumba, Omar Zonga, Seth Kamanza, Beduni Mwawasaa and William Mjape.

Kinondo Ward MCA Juma Maone said they will elect the Speaker based on the attributes of the candidate and not party coalitions.

“We will elect according to the personality and character of that candidate,” Maone said.

Majority of the 20 elected MCAs belong to Kenya Kwanza.

In Kakamega, the Speaker’s battle has narrowed down to a two-horse race between ODM against DAP-Kenya in the elections slated for this afternoon.

Former Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito of DAP-K, wants to be the new Speaker of the 87-member assembly.

But he has to beat ODM’s Brian Lishenga, a medical doctor, who lost to Boni Khalwale in the senate race.

Kajiado contest

Also in the race to succeed the outgoing Speaker Morris Buluma are MCAs-elect Ben Omboko and Francis Kasaya and accountant Humphrey Sechero. All the contestants are allied to Azimio la Umoja.

In Nakuru, 13 candidates have been cleared to run for Speaker. On the list is Wathimba Crispus, who unsuccessfully ran for senate on an independent ticket, former Biashara Ward MCA Joel Karuri and businessman Martin Kagai

Other aspirants who have been cleared for the seat include former Kuresoi MP James Koskey, Jane Mugo, Richard Wanyiri, Daniel Moronge, Jane Kyotto, Allan Ruto, Kevin Ngaru, Joseph Njoroge, Andrew Yatich and Francis Mwangi.

With UDA boasting of a majority of members (39 elected), the battle is expected to be fierce.

Jubilee Party has six MCAs, Safina one, ODM two while seven are Independent.

The battle for the Kajiado Assembly Speaker pits two candidates after the other two failed to return their application papers. Koin Lompo, a lawyer and Justus Ngussur, a two-term former MCA of Ewuaso Kidong of Azimio and Kenya Kwanza coalitions respectively, will face off when MCAs meet to pick Speaker.

Mandera clans

While Kenya Kwanza commands majority of elected ward reps at 13 out of 25, clanism, age and governor Joseph Ole Lenku’s influence are some of determinant factors likely to tilt the outcome.

Sixteen female nominated MCAs are among those who will be sworn in today.

In Wajir, it is a three-horse race between Ahmed Adow Barre, Idris Abdi Abdullahi and Abdille Yussuf Mohamed.

This is after Siyad Hussein Jimale pulled out of the race to back Governor Ahmed Abdullahi pick Abdille Yussuf Mohamed, who is from the Jibrael clan.

Whereas, Idris, who contested for Tarbaj constituency parliamentary is seeking a political lifeline after losing the elections,  Barre is making a first stab at politics

Clan politics is likely to be a major factor as Governor Abdullahi, during the campaigns, had promised to reward Eldas constituency with the Speaker position.

In Mandera, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and its affiliates have unanimously nominated Omar Mohamed Maalim, the former MP of Mandera East to vie for the speaker seat.

—Reports by Oliver Musembi, Wycliffe Kipsang, Noven Owiti, Yusuf Masibo, George Sayagie, Dennis Lumiti, Hillary Mageka, Christine Musa, Roy Lumbe and Munira Mandano

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