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Former MP may replace Elachi as Nairobi Speaker

By Bernard Gitau
Friday, August 14th, 2020
Former Madaraka MP Benson Mutura who was yesterday announced by Jubilee Party secretary-general Raphael Tuju as its candidate for the upcoming Nairobi County Speaker’s election at the party headquarter in Nairobi. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG
In summary
    • Nairobi County Assembly currently has 122 MCAs with 65 being members of Jubilee while 57 allied to the Opposition. As per Standing Order 7, the election of the Speaker shall be by secret ballot.
    •   Other candidates who had expressed interest for the said position included former Speaker Alex Ole Magelo, Nairobi County Economic Planning chief officer Washington Makodingo, former Nairobi Assembly Deputy Speaker Ken Ngondi, Abdi Ali Abdi, Mike Obonyo Guoro, Allan Chacha Mang’era and Kennedy Okeyo Ng’ondi.

Former Makadara legislator Benson Mutura is poised to take over as the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker after his closest challenger, former office holder   Alex ole Magelo withdrew from the race

Mutura’s fortunes came after Magelo announced he had quit the race that fell vacant following the resignation of Beatrice Elachi on Tuesday in order to bring unity in the assembly as well as support a handshake candidate.

It is widely believed that Magelo’s candidature was being pushed  by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) led by Opposition chief Raila Odinga.

Nairobi County Assembly currently has 122 MCAs with 65 being members of Jubilee while 57 allied to the opposition. As per Standing Order 7, the election of the Speaker shall be by secret ballot

“I have withdrawn my candidature and forwarded to the Assembly Clerk my withdrawal letter to that effect.

This is in order to support the Jubilee candidate,” Magelo told People Daily on phone.

Support Mutura 

His decision came hours after 66 Jubilee Members of the County Assembly (MCA’s) at a meeting with Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju at the party’s Headquarters in Pangani agreed to support Mutura in today’s vote.

“We know there are five or six people who have expressed interest in the Speaker’s position but we have agreed to front Benson Mutura as Jubilee candidate,” said Tuju.

Speaking yesterday, Tuju said the party arrived at the decision to support Mutura’s candidacy after consultations with MCAs and President Uhuru Kenyatta who is the party leader in order to avoid confusion in today’s exercise.

“All other candidates are free to go and appeal to the house but as Jubilee we have our candidate, hence at the Assembly today there should be no confusion,” said Tuju.

Apart from Magelo other candidates who had expressed interest for the said position included ex-Nairobi County Economic Planning chief officer Dr Washington Makodingo, former Nairobi Assembly Deputy Speaker Ken Ngondi, Abdi Ali Abdi, Mike Obonyo Guoro and Allan Chacha Mang’era.

Elachi’s term ended in dissary was engaged in supremacy battles with MCAs  who accused her of corruption.

Two years ago, Elachi was impeached by MCAs over corruption and abuse of office but the Labour Court blocked her removal.

During the meeting, the Party also made changes at the Assembly leadership to quell wrangles that have become synonymous with the Assembly.

Majority leader

Jubilee appointed Ibrahim Hassan as the majority leader in place of  Charles Thuo who has been fighting for the seat with Abdi Guyo.

The position of Deputy Majority Leader went to Peter Wanyoike, the Chief Whip position to Paul Kados who will be deputized by Waithera Chege while  County Assembly Service Board Member was handed to Mark Ndung’u.

“The main thrust of discussion was to whip all Jubilee MCAs to give Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) under Major General Mohammed Badi all cooperation necessary so that development can be distributed to all Nairobians.”

“We want to end squabbles among the MCAs to concentrate on services delivery. We did not talk about Governor Mike Sonko and we only urged MCAs to work together with Badi.

The relationship between Sonko and Badi has been addressed at a higher level,” said Tuju.

Speaking separately, some of the MCAs who attended the meeting among them Peter Warutere, Roysambu MCA said with Elachi gone, the madness witnessed in city hall had ended.

“Its now development and total support to NMS. The meeting has resolved to end wrangles that have bedeviled the assembly and now party discipline will be a new trademark,” he said.

Warutere said he was optimistic that Mutura will be the new Nairobi Speaker by close of business tomorrow.

“We have the numbers to clinch the seat without worry. I know he will garner two third of the votes and if it does not happen, then the simple majority will not escape us,” he said.

Acting clerk Pauline Akuku announced the vacancy in the office of speaker and asked eligible persons to submit applications to her office.

Deputy Speaker and Ruai MCA John Kamangu is holding the seat on a temporary basis until the election of a new speaker. He is also the chair of the Liaison Committee. 

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