Lenku caught between a rock and a hard place

The governor’s trust with Azimio MCAs suffered a blow, when a few of them chose to elect UDA’s candidate for Speaker and deputy speaker

Things started going South for Governor Joseph ole Lenku during the election of the County Assembly Speaker. 

Before the election, the ODM governor had put out all the stops, trying to rally his Azimio troops, who are the minority, to support Lawyer Koin Lompo, a former Kajiado East MP aspirant, for the seat.

Then came D-Day. In the first round, 25 Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) voted for UDA’s candidate Justus Ngussur, against 15 for Mr Lompo. 

Since none scored a minimum of two-thirds of the total votes, to win in the first round, the Clerk, Saisa Leboo, ordered a second round, in which one only needed a simple majority to win. 

Ngussur scored 26 votes, while Lompo scored 14 votes. What this means is that, and assuming that all the 20 UDA MCAs voted for their candidate, then the UDA candidate got the backing of at least 6 Azimio MCAs — in essence, who defied a spirited effort of their coalition and its captain in the county to have an ally for the Speaker.

The aftermath of which, and given that the election was through a secret ballot, the governor, it is reported, was not sure whom to trust anymore among the MCAs.

The elections are over, and it is time for the governor to appoint his Cabinet. He needs the support of the MCAs to have his appointees sail through the vetting process. But this will require him to cultivate some sort of goodwill with the lawmakers, by stroking their egos, by way of consulting them in the process, and even appointing their allies to the Cabinet.

Otherwise, some of them, despite being in Azimio, would find that some of the names fronted by the governor are people they are not in good records with — who vehemently campaigned against their election — or are people who could threaten their future political interest, and would therefore be extra careful not to support their appointments. 

Remember, some six unknown elements had betrayed the governor, and he now finds it difficult to trust the entire team, or maybe, he wishes to punish them for their defiance, by appointing people from their Wards whether they like them or not. What does he have to do?

Then came a brilliant idea. He opted to “reconstitute” his Cabinet. What this means in his wisdom, is simply to appoint the previous Cabinet, because, arguably, they would not need to undergo vetting for a second time. 

So, the governor thought, he would have avoided a need to consult his ‘betrayers’ or to face a hostile Assembly — striking two birds with one stone.

The decision, to an extent, also dashed hopes in its wake, of a clique of new allies who hoped to be rewarded with appointments by the governor, for their invaluable input in the governor’s re-election. Now they are in the cold. 

But of cause, a good number of Cabinet who were sure to be shown the door got saved, but a few, who had brushed the boss the wrong way, especially during the campaign period; had to be shown the door at all cost.

By choosing to play his cards close to his chest, the governor could end up brewing more animosity with the assembly and would have the hardest time in his second lap.

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