Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya is the new chairman of the Council of Governors.
Oparanya takes over from Turkana governor Josphat Nanok.
Mwangi wa Iria of Murang’a will deputise Oparanya, after yesterday’s elections at a Nairobi hotel. He takes over from Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru.
“I thank my predecessor Nanok and his team for the strides they have made to the Council of Governors over the past one year,” Oparanya said.
Other governors who sought the chairperson’s seat are Waiguru, Salim Mvurya of Kwale and Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu.
“I will reshape the referendum national agenda in the context of devolution,” Oparanya pledged.
He promised to strengthen devolution through collaboration, consultation and cooperation.
“It may require that we engage the national government, partners and citizens to realise the objective of devolution,” Oparanya said.
He also promised to ensure timely disbursement of funds to the counties and strengthen the Council of Governor Secretariat as a delivery vehicle of the objectives.
Nanok promised to work with Oparanya as a devolution ambassador. “We achieved many strides. However, we still witness insufficient allocations and delayed disbursements to counties by the National Treasury,” he said.
Some devolved functions such libraries and museums remain unfunded yet they have been transferred to the counties, Nanok said.
Makueni’s Kivutha Kibwana was elected the chief whip.
Governor Wycliffe Wangamati of Bungoma was elected the Finance, Planning Economic Affairs committee chairman. James Ongwae of Kisii is the chairman of Human Resources, Labour and Social Welfare.
Paul Chepkwony of Kericho will head the Gender, Youth, Sport, Culture and Social Services committee.
Joyce Laboso of Bomet will chair the Education team.
Trade, Investment Manufacturing and Cooperatives will be headed by Martin Nyaga Wambora of Embu, while Mohamed Kuti of Isiolo will steer the Health committee.
Tharaka Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki will head Agriculture.
Mvurya was to succeed the Turkana governor in July last year, at the end of Nanok’s one-year term. The succession elections were held last December.
But Nanok refused to step down for Mvurya. During the last year’s polls, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto opted for consensus, following fears that a bitter rivalry would divide the governors’ club.