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Muturi poised to retain National Assembly’s Speaker’s post

Concerted lobbying throughout the week could hand speakers Justin Muturi and Ekwee Ethuro fresh mandates at the helm of Parliament on Thursday.

It follows at least six meetings in Nairobi that started with a caucus of senators from Mt Kenya elected on Jubilee ticket at Serena Hotel on August 17.

While former Bungoma governor Ken Lusaka had earlier been tipped to replace Mr Muturi at the National Assembly, he will now find his way to the Cabinet.

The decision according to sources familiar with the ongoing canvassing was arrived at following an overwhelming feeling that Mr Muturi, a former magistrate, had done well in promoting Jubilee’s interest in the 11th Parliament.

“Things have since changed. Jubilee’s leadership in Parliament will remain as it is,” a source close to the presidency said.

If this comes to pass, it would also see majority leaders Kithure Kindiki (Senate) and Aden Duale (National Assembly) retain their positions.

LOBBYING

Mr Muturi and Mr Ethuro have separately been lobbying to be retained following the General Election 19 days ago that handed Jubilee a resounding majority in the bicameral legislature.

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Also, Mr Lusaka the man who was the constant face of Jubilee in western Kenya during the campaigns is said to have whispered to some of his trusted friends that he would struggle to fit into Mr Muturi’s shoes given he is not a lawyer.

Justice affairs.

There had been indications that Mr Ethuro would be dropped and instead given an envoy’s job as Mr Muturi moves to Cabinet in charge of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

The two names will be presented to MPs on Thursday after they are sworn in. But before then, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto (also Jubilee party leader and deputy respectively) are set to whip their lieutenants into supporting their lineup at a parliamentary group meeting either tomorrow or on Tuesday.

Mr Ruto has hosted various groups of politician at his official residence in Karen, meetings whose agenda have largely been how to share plum slots in Parliament and Cabinet while ensuring that all the regions that voted for them feel sufficiently rewarded.

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DEPUTY SPEAKER

On Thursday, he met elected leaders from Murang’a County and Rift Valley, two regions that are eying a slot of deputy speaker in either House.

Earlier in the week, Prof Kindiki, also the Senator from Tharaka-Nithi, sought to downplay the ongoing jostling for House leadership positions.

“There is nothing wrong with expressing an interest in whatever position. Lobbying is highly encouraged. However, the issue of who gets what will be decided at the meeting of the party parliamentary group chaired by the president and his deputy,” he said.

Should they win an election petition filed by opposition chief Raila Odinga challenging their victory, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are faced with an untold dilemma.

The process of solving the headache could leave a trail of casualties in terms of Cabinet and Principal Secretaries from their backyards who, according to insiders, will be sacrificed to give room to individuals from the ‘new support bases’ who must be appeased for the sake of the DP’s 2022 State House ambition.

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STATE JOBS

Western, Gusiiland and Coast will be the beneficiaries of the geopolitical realignments and new realities.

In order to consolidate their chances of landing various state jobs, various politicians elected on Jubilee ticket have resorted to their home counties as the basis of caucusing so they do not miss out.

On Friday, MPs from the Mt Kenya region met for more than six hours at Panafric Hotel, a meeting that sought to capture key committee meetings in Parliament. They are also rooting for Mr Muturi as their boss.

The new lineup would also see former Kisii Senator Chris Obure who had been proposed to take over from Mr Ethuro at the Senate appointed the Cabinet.

His appointment will likely deny Mr Charles Nyachae, a neighbour of his who had equally been proposed for the position of Senate speaker entry to Cabinet.

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