Saturday, 23 March 2013

Parties win in their strongholds as ward bosses defy MPs

Newly elected Nairobi county assembly speaker Alex Sanaika Ole Magelo celebrates his victory outside the city hall on March 22nd. Photo/ANN KAMONI
Newly elected Nairobi county assembly speaker Alex Sanaika Ole Magelo celebrates his victory outside the city hall on March 22nd. Photo/ANN KAMONI  NATION MEDIA GROUP
Posted  Saturday, March 23  2013 at  00:30

Ex-ministers and MPs were among those elected county speakers in peaceful elections held across the country.
County representatives were also sworn in by judicial officers, vowing to keep promises they made during campaigns.
Just like in the races for governors, men dominated the races and only one woman was elected speaker.
In Taita Taveta, the ward chiefs defied MPs and elected a candidate of their choice despite pleas from the legislators.
Wundanyi MP-elect Thomas Mwadeghu, his Voi counterpart Jones Mlolwa and the Mwatate MP-elect Andrew Mwadime had campaigned and pushed for Mr Stanley Mwandoe for the seat.
But the county representatives rebelled and elected former district officer Maghanga Meshack Maghanga to become the first speaker.
Mr Maghanga garnered 16 votes while the MPs-elect’s choice scored zero.
“We preferred Mr Mwandoe because he is our childhood friend and well known to us. The others are strangers,” said the Wudanyi MP after the election.
In Tana River , the Orma and Wardei communities continued to clinch elective seats in the region when they bagged the speaker’s slot.
Former Bura MP Nuhu Nassir became the first speaker when he received 12 out of the 15 votes.
Former district commissioner Nathan Odo Hiribae, who is the Kinakomba ward representative, was elected the deputy speaker.
In his inaugural speech, Dr Nuhu promised to work with all the communities in the county and help in resettling IDPs.
Wamalwa’s allies defeated
In Lamu, former Local Government assistant minister Mohammed Hashim Salim clinched the assembly’s referee role.
Mr Salim, who also served as Lamu East MP in the Eighth Parliament won all the 10 votes cast.
He will be deputized by Shela ward boss Azhar Ali Mbaraka who was elected unopposed.
Mr Sammy Ruwa is Kwale first speaker after beating 15 other candidates for the seat.
In Mombasa, technician Thadius Rajwayi got 28 votes to floor his opponent Mohamed Faki who received two votes.
In the North Rift, Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa’s allies lost the race for the speaker’s post while the swearing in of county representatives took place smoothly on Friday.
In Trans Nzoia , the contest which had been narrowed to five after candidates were cleared by the area interim clerk Joshua Kutekha, was further reduced to a two-horse race after names of three aspirants were struck off for lack of proposers and seconders.
Mombasa-based lawyer David Sifuna whitewashed Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa’s personal assistant Wanjala Jumbe by winning 25 votes in the contest that saw Mr Jumbe’s proposer and seconder vote for his opponent. Mr Jumbe garnered zero votes.
Mr Wamalwa’s assistant had banked on New Ford Kenya and URP ward chiefs but Ford Kenya representatives carried the day.
The minister’s party suffered another setback after Saboti ward county representative David Kipkorir Kaboloman (TNA) beat his Makutano ward colleague Stephen Njoroge Kuru (New Ford Kenya) by 18 to 5 votes to become the region’s deputy speaker.
In West Pokot, Mr Daniel Loburiang, an advocate beat his challenger by 16 votes to four while Mr Johnson Losalia was unanimously voted in as the deputy speaker.
In Baringo County, 30 ward chiefs including a 19-year-old student were yesterday sworn in.
The swearing-in ceremony, which was presided over by High Court Judge Roselyn Wendo and Kabarnet acting chief magistrate Samuel Soita, was also attended by Baringo county governor elect Benjamin Cheboi and his deputy Mathew Tuitoek.
Peace prospects
Former East African Legislative Assembly Hansard editor William Kamket, a Pokot, was elected the first county assembly speaker while Douglas Kiplimo is his deputy.
Mr Kamket’s election is widely seen as a way of preaching peaceful co-existence among pastoralist communities and end perennial cases of cattle rustling which has derailed development.
Some communities, especially the Pokot, have always felt sidelined in the management of county affairs which has sparked conflict.
In Uasin Gishu County, Tirus Ting 21, was among the 30 county assembly representatives from the county who took the oath of office on Friday.
The fourth year student at Masinde Muliro University was elected to represent Moiben ward on a URP ticket.
Shortly after the swearing in ceremony that was presided over by Eldoret Judge Fred Oluoch, the county representatives were to elect a speaker from six contenders who had shown interest in the post.
However, the race narrowed down to Mr Zephania Yego and Mr Isaac Terer. In the first round of voting, Mr Terer garnered 17 votes with Mr Yego getting 13 but the voting had to be repeated since the duo did not meet the two-thirds threshold.
Mr Terer won the race on the second round after he got 20 votes.
In Elgeyo-Marakwet, former World Vision Kenya auditor Albert Kochei was elected the first county assembly speaker.
Mr Kochei, who had vied for the governor’s seat but lost during URP nominations, garnered 12 votes against his closest rival Ledisha Chebichii, an Eldoret-based lawyer who got eight votes.
The election was presided over by High Court Judge Lydia Achode.
The post of deputy county assembly speaker was taken by Sambirir county ward representative Paul Suter who won un-opposed.
For Mr Kochei, party loyalty eventually paid off for him as he remained in the URP party after losing in the nominations.
Lawyer John Makali won the tightly-contested election in Bungoma County,
The election was forced to go the second round after none of the contestants garnered a two-third majority as required.
Mr Makali got 24 votes against 20 votes garnered by Mrs Caroline Khasoa. One vote was spoilt.
Mr Makali, the current Law Society of Kenya Bungoma chapter chairman has been actively involved in ODM party politics.
He vied for the Kanduyi parliamentary seat in 2007 on an ODM ticket but lost during nominations.
In Nandi county, Mr Edwin Cheluget will be the assembly referee while Mr Hezbone Meto is his deputy.
He got 14 votes against his opponent Benjamin Kuto who scored 13 votes and there were two spoilt votes.
High Court judge Kanyi Kimondo presided over the swearing in of the 30 county assembly members.
Members of Parliament from Nandi County and governor-elect Clephas Lagat and the area’s next senator Stephen Sang attended the ceremony but were not allowed to give speeches as they have not been sworn in.
Representatives in Kisumu bucked the trend by picking a woman as the speaker.
Mrs Anne Atieno Adul, an advocate won the speaker’s seat after beating her rival Kenneth Amondi Oduor . She got 19 votes against Mr Oduor’s 16 votes in the run off after they failed to garner a two-thirds majority in the first round of voting.
In Kisii, ward representatives voted in Mr Okerosi Ondieki for the position of speaker.
Mr Okerosi garnered 40 votes against his closest competitor Mr Okebiro Orchard who bagged 45 votes.
In Siaya, Mr George Owino Okode won with a landslide garnering 22 votes against his closest rival Joseph Kwaka who managed to bag seven votes. Third-placed Philip Oyoo got one vote.
Mr Stephen Ouma was thereafter elected unopposed to take the deputy speaker’s post in the election that was presided over by interim county assembly clerk Dorothy Owiro.
Mr Peter Mong’are King’oina is the new county Speaker.
Mr King’oina, who once served as the Nyamira county council treasurer, was declared the winner after a tough battle with Mr Duke Okeyo. Both got eight votes in the first round.
Mr King’oina unsuccessfully contested the gubernatorial seat in the just concluded General Election.
In Migori, Mr Gordon Ogolla, a Nakuru based lawyer, was on Friday elected speaker.
He garnered 23 votes against his closest rival Mr Jack Okula who got 16.
The contest took place immediately after 38 county assembly members were sworn in by Justice Edward Muriithi of the Kisii High Court.
The election of the speaker at the Migori county hall was preceded by intense lobbying between the camps of Mr Ogolla and Mr Okula on Thursday night.
Migori county governor –elect Mr Okoth Obado who witnessed the elections said he was impressed by the conduct of the members.
“ They have behaved maturely and conducted themselves with utmost respect,” he said.
Elections involving ward chiefs were in the past characterised by violence.

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