Jubilee upper hand in Trans Nzoia Speaker race

Wednesday August 23 2017

Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba displays

Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba displays his certificate after taking the oath of office at the Kitale Show Ground on August 21, 2017. Jubilee Party has the highest number of MCAs in the county. PHOTO | DENNIS LUBANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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The race for the Trans Nzoia County Speaker position has narrowed down to a Jubilee affair despite the county’s governor, Patrick Khaemba, being elected on a Ford Kenya ticket.

Mr Khaemba who retained his seat is now caught up in a county assembly dominated by Jubilee Party which has a total of 12 MCAs followed by Ford Kenya with eight, while three MCAs were elected as independents. ANC and ODM have one MCA each.

So far, lawyer Charles Wabwoba and Kwanza constituency parliamentary aspirant loser Joshua Werunga have emerged as the only aspirants for the Speaker position and they are affiliated to the Jubilee Party.

ELECTIONS

Whereas Mr Wabwoba has been campaigning for the seat for over one year now, Mr Werunga is a new entrant into the race after he lost in the parliamentary elections.

Candidates interested in the seat and are affiliated to National Super Alliance include current Speaker David Sifuna, who vied as an independent candidate for the Trans Nzoia Senator seat but lost and County Assembly lawyer Katama Ngeywa.

Others are Trans Nzoia Public Service Board Secretary Clare Namenge, former Bikeke Girls’ Principal Susan Murumba, Mr Nathaniel Tum, Mr Andrew Wanyonyi and lawyer Nick Biketi.

Lawyer Biketi unsuccessfully vied for Kwanza MP seat.

According to political analysts, tribe might also be a factor in determining the next Speaker.

Mr Wabwoba is banking on his close relationships with the MCAS and his experience in legislative drafting and policy formulation as key in his quest for the position.

CORRUPTION

“I represented pro bono the MCAs, who were accused of corruption in court and also most of those who filed petitions both with the political parties tribunal and IEBC during nominations,” he said.

In early this year, 38 MCAs, the Speaker Mr Sifuna and Clerk of the Trans Nzoia County Assembly were arrested over corruption allegations of obtaining illegal imprests.

Whereas Mr Werunga is counting on his experience having also at one time served as a Mayor of Kitale Town Council, Mr Wabwoba accuses him of having no understanding of legal issues.

“Knowledge of legal issues will go a long way in guiding MCAs in effectively carrying out their legislative mandate. I will use my experience as a lawyer to guide the MCAs and put the county government of check,” Mr Wabwoba said.

So far, the Jubilee MCAs are working together with the independent MCAs in an effort to win the Speaker seat.