- Murang’a, Kericho, Kisumu, Siaya, Machakos and Turkana are some of the county assemblies which are set to have their first sittings on Tuesday.
- The rest of the counties will hold their sittings on Wednesday where the MCAs are set to be sworn in before electing the speakers, being the first business.
All is not lost for MPs who were floored in the August 9 polls as a section of them are now trying their luck for leadership positions in the county assemblies.
To forestall what could see their careers and dreams shattered, most of the politicians are now positioning themselves to be the third powerful man or woman in their counties after the governor.
With lobbying intensifying ahead of the first sittings and elections this week, those eyeing the speaker’s seat have increased and are going for the position as their last resort to keep their images glowing rather than stay in the cold.
Party officials who played key roles in the run up to the last election in their counties are also among those being pushed to take up the positions as rewards.
Murang’a, Kericho, Kisumu, Siaya, Machakos and Turkana are some of the county assemblies which are set to have their first sittings on Tuesday.
The rest of the counties will hold their sittings on Wednesday where the MCAs are set to be sworn in before electing the speakers, being the first business.
Clerks in the respective counties have already advertised for the vacancies in the office of the speakers at their county assemblies.
“It is notified for the information of the general public that pursuant to Article 178 (1) of the Constitution of Kenya, section 21 of the Elections Act, 2011 and Standing Order 4 (1) of the Standing Orders, the office of the speaker shall become vacant upon the first sitting,” reads a notice.
Those eyeing the seat are required to meet the qualifications of a MCA in accordance with the County Governments Act, 2012 among other requirements.
In Kiambu, the race which attracted six contestants has since narrowed down to three — former Githunguri MP Charles Thiongo, former Kihara MCA Josphat Kamanya and former parliamentary aspirant Charles Chege.
In Kericho, outgoing speaker Dominic Rono will be battling it out with former Buret MP Japheth Kiptegech who was the first speaker.
The race for the position in key counties has also seen governors throw spanners into works, an act that could play a critical key role in the elections.
Mindful of backbiting and supremacy wars between the executive and the legislature which might obstruct service delivery, the county chiefs will be keeping an eye to ensure the MCAs pick technocrats as compared to politicians.
Since the advent of devolution, most governors have become the target of these rivalries.
Regional balancing is among the factors for consideration by the governors for their involvement as it forms basis in the formation of their cabinets.
“What we are only aware of is that some politicians have preferred candidates, but as for the governor he has yet to declare it...We do not expect any form of influence or coercion on the MCAs,” Kiprotich Bii who is contesting in Bomet said.
Former Tetu MP James Gichuhi will be seeking to replace former speaker John Kaguchia who was elected as MP for Mukurwe-ini.
Former Siaya woman representative Pamela Akello who is the only woman in the race will be battling it out with current speaker George Okode who is seeking a third term in office alongside 10 others.
In his campaigns, Governor James Orengo drummed up support for Okode for regional balancing.
In Taita Taveta, parliamentary losers Jones Mlolwa, Harun Mwadali, Simon Mwachia, Gideon Ndambuki, Chris Mwambingu, Jones Mlolwa and Albanas Muli have declared interest in the seat.
Others are Godwin Kilele of Jubilee and Mike Banton.
In Nakuru, former speaker Joel Kairu who unsuccessfully vied for the Nakuru Town East MP seat on a Jubilee ticket losing to David Gikaria has opted out of the race.
Former Kuresoi MP James Koskei and former Biashara MCA Joel Karuri are among the 11 candidates in the race who will be seeking to salvage their images when the MCAs decide on Wednesday.
While President William Ruto has kept off any interference in his turf, Azimio leader Raila Odinga was on Monday expected to meet Kisumu MCAs for a luncheon and chat a way forward.
(edited by Amol Awuor)