Top Stories / Counties
Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 16:23 EAT
Members of Kitui County Assembly meet tomorrow to elect the new Speaker after the exercise was stopped last Friday by a court order. And with NASA running mate Kalonzo Musyoka and governor Charity Kaluki Ngilu working together, their endorsed candidate is expected to carry the day.
In a notice summoning the MCAs to the sitting at 2.30pm at Kenya Forest Research Institute offices (Kitui Regional Office), Clerk of the Assembly Elijah Mutambuki names eight candidates who will battle it out for the post including current Speaker George Mutua Ndoto.
Others are Benjamin Mwikya Musyoki, Daniel Ngoima Kimanzi, Munyoki Mwangangi, Samson Nyamai Masila, Bernard M. Kitindio, John Muneeni Makau and Jeremiah Mumo Kisangau.
Messrs. Makau and Kisangau had filed a petition in the High Court, Machakos challenging their disqualification from the race and consequently stopped the elections on September 8, when the 54 Kitui MCAs were sworn into office. They argued that the clerk refused to receive their nomination papers on claims they had not met the deadline of submitting them.
With Kalonzo’s Wiper winning 21 seats in the 40-member assembly while Ngilu’s Narc got nine, then their combination will decide who the next governor would.
However as the MCAs elect the new speaker, they will also be considering balancing various sub-counties despite intense lobbying by candidates.
Despite the influential position having attracted several contestants including current Speaker Mr Ndotto, the need to achieve regional balance where all the eight constituencies are represented in top county leadership is expected to take center stage.
Besides academic credentials and other competencies, the strength of each candidate is being measured by the sub-region they hail from and whether that area has produced another top county official.
Governor Charity Ngilu hails from Kitui Central, Senator Enoch Wambua is from Kitui West while Mrs Ngilu’s deputy, Dr Wathe Nzau, and County Woman Rep Irene Kasalu are both from Mwingi Central.
The County Assembly therefore is expected to act in a bipartisan way to avoid concentrating power in one region.
Frontrunners for the seat include Mr Ndotto, who like Governor Ngilu, is from Kitui Central, and Kitindio, a young lawyer from Kitui South. Others are Kisangau, lawyers Makau and Masila.
Even though Governor Ngilu and Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka have remained largely non-aligned to either candidate, Mr Kitindio is emerging as the favourite candidate of their two parties and is likely to clinch the seat if the two leaders concur.
Mr Ndotto, a long standing rival of Mrs Ngilu, banks his hopes of retaining the seat on his political experience and performance in the last assembly where he spearheaded the construction of modern debating chambers.