Battle for Makueni speaker heats up as big names set to square it out

After the general elections, eyes are on the County Assemblies as MCAs choose speakers from next week. The MCAs after being sworn in will conduct speaker elections.

In Makueni county several big names of interested candidates have popped some of them being election losers.

The first on the list is Prof. Philip Kaloki who was vying with Polycarp Igathe in the Nairobi gubernatorial seat and lost to Johnson Sakaja of Kenya Kwanza. Kaloki lost the Makueni gubernatorial seat in 2013 and later the senatorial by-elections after the death of Mutula Kilonzo.

In 2017 he lost Kibwezi East parliamentary race to Jessica Mbalu and if he is chosen as speaker this would be a relief to him after numerous unfortunate attempts in the political world.

Stephen Ngelu who served as the first Makueni speaker is back for the second attempt. This is after failing to clinch the Kibwezi East parliamentary seat for the second time. Ngelu may have a hard time getting the seat because of what transpired during his regime.

In 2014 the differences between the executive and the assembly escalated resulting in a shootout where two people were injured. Also during his reign, President Uhuru Kenyatta almost disbanded the county after forming the commission of inquiry to look into the county government crisis.

The third candidate for the speaker position is Douglas Mbilu who is the immediate speaker. Mbilu wanted to contest for Makueni parliamentary seat but Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka promised him the speaker’s seat for a second time. The question is, will Mbilu recapture the seat despite some claims by some locals that he had gone to bed with the outgoing executive?

Others salivating for the seat and have already met the 30 MCAs include Japheth Katumo, a Former Ukia member of County Assembly, and Eshio Mwaiwa who failed in Nguu/Masumba MCA by-elections last year. Dennis Mung’ata a lawyer from Kibwezi east is also in the race and his aim is to bring balance in terms of region.

The last batch of those interested in the seat includes Murma Ndungi a businessman from Makindu, Mwaniki Mwololo among others.

The speaker of the county Assembly is voted by secret ballot by MCAs after their swearing-in. A person shall not be elected as Speaker unless supported in a ballot by the votes of two-thirds of all Members. If no candidate is supported by the votes of two-thirds of all Members, the candidate who received the highest number of votes in the ballot and the candidate or candidates who in that ballot received the next highest number of votes shall alone stand for election in a further ballot and the candidate who receives the highest number of votes in the further ballot shall be elected Speaker. The speaker is immediately sworn in and they shall notify the Members of the place, date, and time of the opening of the County Assembly.


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