Former MP bodyguard wins Tana River Speaker race

Osman Noor Galole, a former bodyguard to the former Galole MP Hassan Dukicha, takes oath of office after being elected Tana River Speaker.

A former bodyguard for one-time Galole legislator Hassan Dukicha on Wednesday became the Tana River County Assembly Speaker.

Mr Osman Noor Galole trounced former county secretary Joshua Jarha, former chairman of the county ward bursary fund Frank Faith Daido and businessman Khalif Abdi in the elections conducted by secret ballot.

He garnered 17 votes in the first round, followed by Joshua Jarha with nine. Mr Daido and Mr Abdi did not get any votes.

Without a winner with a two thirds majority, the contest went to the second round and Mr Galole clinched the post with 18 votes, followed by Mr Jarha with eight and the others zero.

The ward bosses also chose Garsen South MCA Rhida Katisha as deputy Speaker. She also happens to be the only female MCA elected to the house and the first to occupy the deputy Speaker position.

The two took the oath of office and will lead the House.

Addressing journalists at the county assembly grounds in Hola, Mr Galole promised to be impartial.

"For them to vote overwhelmingly for me, it means they have seen something different with me. They have seen my potential and I will live up to their expectations," he said.

The race had attracted five candidates, only for former senator Juma Wario to bolt out on Tuesday evening.

In Taita Taveta, MCAs elected Wisdom Mwamburi as Speaker of the assembly. Mr Mwamburi garnered 22 votes against Simon Mwachia’s nine.

Former Voi MP Jones Mlolwa received only one vote.

The race had attracted 11 contestants, including the incumbent Meshack Maghanga.

Ms Janet Oben, who had shown interest in the position, was disqualified at the last minute after her Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) clearance certificate was found to be invalid.

"We received a public outcry this morning and upon enquiring from KRA they responded that Ms Oben's certificate was invalid," the clerk informed the House.

The question arose after Rong’e MCA Dorcas Mlughu rose to inquire why Ms Oben's name was missing and yet she had been cleared to vie for the seat.

In his inaugural speech, Mr Mwamburi said he will ensure the House redeems its integrity.

"I will do my best to serve this House diligently and in the interest of the people of Taita Taveta County," he said.

He brings into office his vast experience in administration, starting out as a district officer in 1991 before he ascended to district commissioner until his resignation in 2013 to join politics.

He vied for governor in 2013 but emerged third after former Governor John Mruttu and Jecinta Mwatela.

He was then appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to the board of the Kenya Bureau of Standards in 2015, serving for three years. He then went into private business.

MCAs also elected Mwanda/Mghange MCA Anselm Mwadime as deputy Speaker.

In Kwale, Seif Mwatela is the new assembly Speaker.

Mr Mwatela, who previously vied for Kinango MP as an independent candidate, garnered 20 votes.

He defeated former Kwale County legal adviser Salim Gombeni, who received 10 votes.

He takes over from Sammy Ruwa, who was Speaker for the previous 10 years.

Voting went to the second round after the initial winner, Mr Mwatela, failed to reach the threshold of 20 of 30 votes.

Story by Stephen Oduor, Lucy Mkanyika and Siago Cece


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