Inside intense lobbying for the Speaker’s seat

Whereas the UDA party is keen to take advantage of its numerical strength at the Assembly, to have one of its reputed loyalties become the next Speaker, the governor-elect is also keen to have an ally take the position

As Johnson Osoi’s two-term tenure as the Speaker of the County Assembly comes to an end, politicians from the two major political parties in Kajiado — UDA and ODM — are now on a high gear lobbying seeking to succeed him. 

Among those eyeing the coveted seat is outgoing Ewuaso-Kidong MCA Justus Ngussur, his Magadi Ward counterpart Joseph Masiaya, and Assembly deputy clerk Kipambi ole Ntele.

Others are; former Kajiado East ODM hopefuls Koin Lompo and Daniel Kanchori — both are advocates of the High Court of Kenya. 

Former chairman of the defunct Olkejuado County Council Tarayia ole Kores is also rumored to be a likely contender.

Ngussur, a widely reputed UDA loyalist, is banking his hopes on the party’s numerical strength to clinch the seat. 

The outgoing DP William Ruto’s party mustered a lion’s share of 25 elective seats by securing 13 seats against 8 by ODM, and two each by the Jubilee and Wiper parties.

Although there is an elaborate constitutional procedure for one to apply for the seat, pundits aver that, the vested political interest of either the governor-elect or the party with the majority membership, will have a major influence on the choice of the person who will eventually win the seat, and that depending on which of the two competing interests will trounce the other, one will eventually carry the day.

“As the UDA party, the Speaker’s seat is of great importance to us, and we will employ every tactical mechanism possible to win the seat,” a UDA official based in Nairobi, and who spoke on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media, told the Kajiado Star.

He exuded confidence that “in the most likely case that William Ruto will be sworn in as the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya, and UDA having the tyranny of numbers in the Assembly, it will be extremely difficult for the party to lose the seat.”

In Kajiado however, other factors like regional balance and clan arithmetic are likely to play a critical role, to an extent that some of the politicians who are perceived to be best suited for the seat, given their career and work experiences or their rewardable political contributions to their respective parties in the just concluded General Election, could be axiomatically locked out.

A win by Masiaya, for instance, a medic and a law student, and one that has served in the position of a deputy speaker in the second lap of Osoi’s tenure, may arguably cause uproar more so in Kajiado East Constituency, on account that the Women Rep-elect Leah Sankaire and the Assembly Clerk Leboo Saisa come from Kajiado West Constituency, while the to-be Kakuta Maimai-led Constituency has no any senior county position it boasts of.

There are however other arguments, that in a scenario whereby the party’s interest conflicts with the interest of regional balance, the former will by no means override the latter. 

“If the party finds someone who in their view is suitable for the position, that is, who will best serve their interest, then it won’t care about the local consideration for regional balance,” said the source.

It is instructive to know that whereas Kajiado South boasts of producing Governor-elect Joseph ole Lenku, and Kajiado Central boasts of producing both Senator-elect Samuel Seki and Deputy Governor-elect Martin Moshisho, in this year’s election, Kajiado East and Kajiado North, the two most populous Constituencies in the county, could not talk such big.

It goes however without saying that Lenku, will also pull out all the stops to have one of his trusted allies clinch the seat. 

He has earlier promised his immediate Ilaitayiok clansman Lompo the seat, but the aforementioned complex clan arithmetic could likely force him to change his mind, especially given that the three most senior elective county positions in the county have been won by the Orok-kiteng clan, leaving the Odo-Mongi in the cold.

There is also a reportedly unofficial agreement that the area’s main political influencers entered with Lenku during the campaign period, where they promised to deliver a majority of his rival’s, Dr. David Nkedianye of Jubilee, backyard vote.

Aware of the hard choices Lenku has to make, the said influencers, are now fronting the deputy clerk, and rumors have it that, they are threatening the governor to support the latter, lest they support the would-be UDA candidate.

This publication has learned that each party will be keen to front one candidate. “Whatever the position of the party would be, on the person they would sponsor, I will respect,” Masiaya told Kajiado Star.

It remains to be seen who the various parties will front for the seat, and which party will carry the day.

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