A blend of old and new hands will be deputising newly sworn-in governors in the North Rift.
Despite widespread perception that most of them have been reduced to flower girls, the tenure of deputy governors are protected by the constitution.
Still, the decision on whether to drop their deputies and pick new running mates proved to be a delicate process for many governors fighting to retain their seats.
In Uasin Gishu, Governor Jackson Mandago, who was sworn in for a second term yesterday, has been vocal in his defence of his deputy, Daniel Chemno, assuring him he would keep his job after the August 8 poll.
The gamble paid off. Mr Chemno, who is from the Keiyo community, was instrumental in Mandago’s re-election, mobilising votes from his Keiyo community to give his boss a lead with 191,467 votes.
In Trans Nzoia, Governor Patrick Khaemba was sworn in with his deputy, Stanley Tarus, for a second term in what he termed continuous good relations and the need for regional balance in the cosmopolitan county.
Though re-elected for a second term, Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok had dropped his deputy, Peter Ekai, for a running mate and settled for 58-year-old technocrat, Peter Lotethiro Emuria.
“He is the right person to be my deputy as he is not new to the people of Turkana,” he said.
His Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Alex Tolgos dropped Gabriel Lagat and opted for former county director of cooperatives, Wesley Rotich.
“He resonates well with the youth and was instrumental in regional balancing,” said Tolgos.
NASA helped me win, says Mandago
Again, the gamble worked, as the new deputies went on to help both governors retain their seats in the August 8 polls.
West Pokot and Nandi will however be working with new county bosses and deputies. West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo will be working with Nicholas Atudonyang, a neurosurgeon, in a post previously held by Titus Lotee.
Yulita Mitei becomes the only female deputy governor in the North Rift, after she was picked by the new Nandi Governor Stephen Sang. [Silah Koskei]