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Race for Speaker’s post heats up

The race for top leadership positions in both the National Assembly and Senate has intensified ahead of the convening of the 12th Parliament next week.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s announcement for convening of the new Parliament on August 31 has triggered a fresh wave of lobbying for the Speaker’s post and other top seats in both Houses.

On Thursday, the Nation learnt that Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and the former Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka’s names were among those being considered by Jubilee Party for National Assembly Speaker alongside that of incumbent Justin Muturi.

Sources within Jubilee also indicated that the name of Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege and that of Kuresoi MP Moses Cheboi are among those party leaders are floating as possible replacements for deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso who is now Bomet governor.

RUTO MET MPS

This emerged as Deputy President William Ruto met MPs from Murang’a County and those from Rift Valley elected on Jubilee Party on Thursday at his official residence in Karen, Nairobi, where he asked them to work together and focus on delivering Jubilee’s agenda and meet the people’s expectations. 

“As leaders you need to work as a team in addressing the problems facing the people,”  Mr Ruto said. 

READ: Speaker to defend seat as senators lobby for posts

The Deputy Presidential Press Services said Mr Ruto would hold similar meetings with leaders from across the country to “emphasise to the elected leaders the need to implement Jubilee’s agenda.”

A source familiar with the discussions told the Nation  that the Murang’a MPs suggested to Mr Ruto that the region be considered for the deputy Speaker’s position in either of the two Houses.

The county’s Senator-elect Irungu Kang’ata is eying the Senate deputy Speaker’s seat alongside his Kiambu counterpart Kimani Wamatangi and Nakuru Senator-elect Susan Kihika.

The seat was held by Kembi Gitura who was ousted by Mr Kang’ata.

KITHURE KINDIKI

The outgoing Senate Majority Leader, Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, confirmed lobbying for the positions is in top gear but said the final decision on who gets what will be made by the party leadership.

“There is nothing wrong with expressing an interest in whatever position,” said Professor Kindiki. “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 next week.”

READ: Wamatangi in race for Senate deputy Speaker

Also interested in the seat is Migudo Winja who unsuccessfully contested the Siaya gubernatorial seat and lost to  Cornel Rasanga.

GENDER PARITY

Mr Winja, who visited the Nation Centre on Thursday, said he will be reaching out to MPs to elect him as he will ensure they are properly facilitated in discharging their mandate.

He is also promising to develop a formula that will ensure that gender parity is achieved by 2022. 

“I will ensure that MPs are proud of their worker environment if they elect me as their Speaker,” he said, accusing Mr Muturi of doing little to improve the working environment of legislators.

Mr Winja said politics has become a professional career and it is important  to ensure that members deliver.

With Jubilee outnumbering Nasa leaders in both National Assembly and Senate, wisdom will be key in making decisions.

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