At least five individuals have expressed interest in becoming the next Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly to replace the current Speaker Alex ole Magelo.
Among those who have made their intentions known are the incumbent Speaker Ole Magelo, Deputy Speaker Ken Ngondi, county public service board vice-chairperson Vesca Kangongo and outgoing Karura MCA Kamau Thuo with reports indicating that County Chief of Staff George Wainaina is also interested in the seat.
The assembly being the legislative arm of the county, the Speaker’s position is one of the most powerful seats and this can explain the strong interests expressed by several people.
According to the Constitution, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has to gazette the names of all the elected Members of County Assembly before they are sworn in.
The MCAs are then required to take an oath of office before they proceed to elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
The first sitting of the assembly will be convened by the governor, who will have to be sworn in before the MCAs.
Mr Ole Magelo, who was elected in 2013 was in the opposition ODM but later joined the Jubilee Party on which he contested the Kajiado West parliamentary seat during the party’s primaries.
He will be banking on his track record as Speaker in seeking re-election.
He will also hope that Jubilee, having majority MCAs, will also give him an edge over most of his opponents in the race.
“I worked very well with both sides of the House and we did not have problems like the ones we saw in other assemblies. Our members conducted business in a hall [that had] no proper security and communication equipment but now we have a state-of-the art chamber that no any other county can match,” said Mr Ole Magelo.
As for Mr Ngondi, the outgoing Kware MCA, his quest for the position is firmly rested on his relationship with members of the first assembly and his leadership qualities which he hopes will win him support from across the floor to propel him to the coveted seat.
“I have worked well with members of the first assembly. It is not an issue of Nasa or Jubilee having the majority, it is about what a person will offer. I think I have done well for the years I have been in this position,” said Mr Ngondi.