Intrigues over top jobs as Ward reps take office
Preparations for the swearing-in of all Ward Reps countrywide on Wednesday are in top gear as the regional governments also install new Assembly Speakers the same day.
However, the exercise may hit a snag in some counties as disgruntled parties threatened to go to court over what they call unfair nomination of MCAs.
In Kiambu, the 92 MCAs will be electing their Speaker from a list of five candidates who have presented themselves for the post previously held by Stephen Ndicho.
Among those eyeing the seat is Ndicho, Thika-based advocate Daniel Gachau, Charles Thiong’o, an advocate who had lost the United Democratic Alliance for Githunguri constituency to Gathoni Wamuchomba, Kabete parliamentary seat loser Charles Chege, former Speaker Gathii Irungu and former Senator Isaac Mwaura.
Meanwhile, the swearing in on MCAs in Baringo has been thrown into disarray following the death of Deputy Governor Charles Kipng’ok.
Governor Benjamin Cheboi had already gazetted the 30 elected and 15 nominated MCAs ahead of their swearing but this now hangs in the balance following his deputy’s demise. Deputy Governor Charles Kipng’ok, 61, collapsed and died on September 14 aboard a Kenya Airways flight en-route to Mombasa.
Assembly Clerk Winnie Chemase yesterday said his death has adversely affected activities.
“All was set for the swearing of the MCAs on Wednesday but we are contemplating to postpone it to pave way for the burial arrangements and mourning of the deputy governor,” Chemase said.
In Murang’a, a section of residents has threatened to go to court to seek legal redress over nomination positions in the Assembly, claiming the process was bungled and the slots awarded to non-deserving people. Residents claimed seven out of the 12 UDA nominees come from Kiharu, terming it unfair.
Area UDA coordinator Bernard Mwangi said the nominations were done contrary to the previous agreement that each constituency will get a slot with priority being given to those who vied for the seat and failed in the nominations.
“The list of the nominees that was submitted initially is different from what was published and we think someone went behind our back to have the names changed. We need to understand why other areas were not given the slots and Kiharu took the majority,” Mwangi explained.
In Nakuru, the 75 MCAs will be sworn in and proceed to elect their Speaker and a deputy, 41 of whom are under the UDA banner, seven independents, six from Jubilee, one from Safina and 20 nominated.
Former Biashara Ward MCA Joel Karuri is among those in the crowded contest for the Speaker’s position.
Others eyeing the seat include former Kuresoi MP, former Kabazi MCA Peter Mbae and former Executive Committee Member Anne Njenga.
In Homa Bay, Assembly Clerk Faith Apuko said it is all systems go as the 54 MCAs will be sworn in and proceed to elect their Speaker.
“The Constitution allows MCAs to contest for the Speaker position and one does not need a law degree or any other degree as long as one has the requisite qualifications they are qualified to be a Speaker,” she said. She said the Speaker’s position was advertised yesterday and will run until next week Monday before shortlisting candidates. “So far we have not had people coming out for the position. The nomination papers have been available since yesterday and so we will find out those who have the interest by Monday,” Apuko said.
In Makueni, the Ward Reps participated in a mock swearing-in and orientation exercise at the Assembly ahead of official exercise on Wednesday.
“We are doing the mock swearing-in and orientation on how to carry themselves and to avoid confusion during the ceremony on Wednesday,” Assembly Clerk Kevin Mutuku said. Makueni has 30 elected and 18 nominated MCAs.
All is set for the swearing of the MCAs in other counties in the North Rift including Uasin-Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Turkana and West Pokot.
The assemblies have already conducted orientation of the members with governors from the region expected to preside over the first sitting after the swearing in.
In Nyamira, after the swearing in of MCAs, members will thereafter elect their Speaker. Assembly has 20 elected MCA’s and 15 nominated members.
The contest for the Speaker will be between Mofat Teya and former Manga ward MCA Enock Okero.
Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo is pushing for the election of Okero on grounds that Teya in the last election had mobilised MCA’s against his government thus allegedly derailing his development agenda.
Reporting by Wangari Njuguna, Wycliffe Kipsang, Evans Nyakundi, Oliver Musembi and KNA