Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lawyers dominate race for county assembly Speaker

PHOTO | FILE Voters stand in the queue to cast their ballot at Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground polling station in Kisumu on March 4. The region’s county assembly speaker’s seat has attracted 19 candidates, including three women.

PHOTO | FILE Voters stand in the queue to cast their ballot at Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground polling station in Kisumu on March 4. The region’s county assembly speaker’s seat has attracted 19 candidates, including three women.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NATION TEAM [email protected]

The battle for the position of speaker of the county assembly in nine counties has intensified with lawyers dominating the races.

In Nakuru County, at least six lawyers have thrown their hat in the ring.

They include former Rift Valley Law Society of Kenya chairman Caleb Nyamwange, Nairobi-based lawyer Njenga Mwangi, former Molo MP Macharia Mukiri, Mr Steve Orina, Ms Susan Kihika and Lecturer Boniface Mwaura. Former nominated Councillor Zack Njeru is also in the race for the seat whose winner is expected to preside over business in the county assembly.

In Narok, three lawyers, including two women, are eyeing for the speaker’s seat.

They include former senior legal officer at Nema Christine Baar, Ms Josephine Kuluo and Human Rights Lawyer Charles Sena. Two other candidates are Mr Livingstone Ntutu, younger brother of senator-elect Stephen Ntutu, and Mr Olooltisati Kamwaro.

It will be another battle of three lawyers and a journalist in Baringo County. Lawyers Raymond Kipkenei, Kaptuiya Cheboiywo and Kangogo Songoyo will face off with journalist William Kamket.

But in Nyandarua, it is only Ndegwa Wahome, a Nyahururu-based lawyer, who has so far declared interest in the position.
In Kirinyaga, three lawyers are set to fight for the powerful seat. They include Mr Peter Muchira and Nairobi-based advocates Gichimu Githinji and Ndegwa Njiru.

The lawyers yesterday said they were competent to take up the job and were planning to fill the nomination forms and submit them to the interim county clerk.

In West Pokot County, four candidates have so far joined the race for the post. They include High court advocate Robert Katina, Mr Lokadio William (a social scientist), Liman Loseps (a chaplain at the Kitale GK Prison) and Loburiang Daniel (a teacher).

The contest is likely to be centred around Kanu and United Republican Party, which got the majority seats in the March 4 General Election.

A similar battle is expected in Trans Nzoia County, where a number of individuals are banking their hopes on the 25 elected county representatives and other six to be nominated to endorse their bids.

Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa’s personal assistant Wanjala Jumbe is among those who have declared interest in the seat.

Others are Mombasa-based lawyer David Sifuna, Businessman Kamau Muchiri, former Kenya Seed Company Managing Director Nathaniel Tum, and lawyers Joel Onyancha and Peter Kiarie.

URP, New Ford Kenya and Ford Kenya are the parties to watch in the contest.

Interim County Clerk Joshua Kutekha said plans were underway to swear in the elected county representatives to spearhead the election of the speaker.

In Kisumu, 19 candidates, including three women, are eyeing the post. Orange Democratic Movement bagged most seats in the county and a candidate who will be favoured by the elected members is likely to carry the day.

And in Siaya, a woman is among ten people who have applied for the speaker’s job.

Ms Rosemary Okumu, Mr Stephen K’Opot and Mr George Okode yesterday told Nation that they were ready to take charge of the 30-member assembly.

Reported by Simon Siele, Noah Cheploen, and George Sayagie, George Munene, Philip Bwayo, Brian Yonga and Godfrey Ombogo.

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