D-DAY

Oraro frontrunner as Kisumu MCAs elect new speaker

Some 42 MCAs on Wednesday endorsed Oraro to take charge of the assembly.

In Summary

• Oraro resigned from his Kisumu North ward seat to contest for the speaker's job against lawyer Kenneth Amondi. 

• The seat was declared vacant on Thursday last week by the assembly clerk.

Elisha Oraro
Image: FAITH MATETE
Kenneth Amondi
Image: FAITH MATETE
Kisumu county assembly during a press briefing on Wednesday
Image: FAITH MATETE

Acting speaker Elisha Oraro is expected to prevail over his competitor as MCAs elect a new leader for the Kisumu assembly today. 

Oraro resigned from his Kisumu North ward seat to contest for the speaker's job against lawyer Kenneth Amondi. 

The seat was declared vacant on Thursday last week by the assembly clerk. Former speaker Onyango Oloo had failed to secure reinstatement through the courts following his impeachment last year. 

Oraro, an engineer, confirmed that he had resigned as Kisumu North ward MCA to contest the elections.

He said that he had complied with all the legal requirements to vie for the position. 

“For you to achieve something you must take risks. I took a well-calculated risk,” he said.

Both Oraro and Amondi have been lobbying for support from the MCAs and the ODM party officials.

Amondi said that his knowledge of the law will help him to steer the assembly in the right direction.

This will be Amondi's third attempt to clinch the position. He lost to Ann Adul in 2013 and Onyango Oloo in 2017.  

Sources say that the ODM party has already called the MCAs for meeting ahead of the election day to declare their position on the matter.

 
 

Endorsement

Some 42 MCAs on Wednesday endorsed Oraro for speaker.  

The ward reps said a decision on the assembly leadership is already made, and they will only confirm it today. 

Majority leader Kenneth Onyango said that Oraro had shown a focused leadership and guided the assembly seamlessly when he worked as a temporary speaker.

Onyango said the peace and tranquillity that has ensued cannot be washed away by electing a new person. 

He said it was a remarkable departure from the incessant acrimony and wrangles that characterised the reign of the former speaker.

“It is for this reason that we, the MCAs, do hereby affirm that we are not ready to compromise the peace and progressive leadership currently reigning for the sake of political expediency,” he said.

Onyango said that they shall not let dark and retrogressive forces that held the county back in the last two years to creep back into the assembly.

Assembly chief whip Prisca Misachi said Oraro had been tested for the speaker’s role and hence he should be confirmed for the job.

Misachi said that Oraro understood members’ issues during the time has been acting as the speaker.

Kolwa East MCA Steve Owiti said Oraro has brought unity to the assembly.

Nominated MCA Aslam Khan said Oraro's leadership had seen the members engage in robust and healthy debates while performing their legislative duties.

Elders oppose Oraro bid

Elders from the North Kisumu ward told Oraro not to vie for the position and instead focus on serving the people who elected him as their represenative.

Led by Nick Atieno, elder William Andiki, William Oindo and Tom Amollo said that the ward was not ready for by-election in the even he resigned.

"The Kisumu assembly seems to be deeply divided after the impeachment of Oloo and only a neutral person will be able to  unite them all," Atieno said.

Ex-speaker Oloo's woes 

Former speaker Onyango Oloo was impeached on September 18 last year and lost a reinstatement bid in the courts.

Oloo was impeached after he was charged with graft in the Sh4.5 billion Lake Basin Development Authority Mall scandal.

The mall in Kisumu was put up when Oloo served as board chair of the authority. 

In suit papers, Oloo said the impeachment process was illegal and he was not given a chance to be heard, thereby infringing on his rights.

But the court ruled that the impeachment was procedural. The motion was passed by 42 members of county assembly constituting 75 per cent of the house, meeting the threshold.

Oloo has appealed.  He has listed eight grounds against the ruling by the lower courts and has faulted the court for erring in law by dismissing his suit.

He claims the court failed to appreciate uncontested facts tabled before it.