Igathe's running mate Kaloki loses in Makueni Speaker bid
The running mate of Polycarp Igathe in the Nairobi gubernatorial contest in the just concluded general election has lost his bid to be Makueni County Assembly Speaker.
Incumbent Speaker Douglas Mbilu on Wednesday retained the seat in a hotly contested race that was witnessed by, among others, Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior.
Mr Mbilu garnered 26 votes against 21 votes by his only challenger, former Kenya Medical Training College board chairman Philip Kaloki, during the second round of voting.
Prof Kaloki contested the city gubernatorial seat alongside Mr Igathe on Jubilee ticket but lost to Johnson Sakaja of UDA.
In the Speaker’s contest on Wednesday, Mr Mbilu managed 25 votes against Prof Kaloki's 22 votes in the first round.
Makueni Assembly Clerk Kelvin Mutuku declared Mr Mbilu the elected Speaker and swore him into office.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Mbilu pledged to be fair to all the MCAs irrespective of how they had voted.
He promised to work towards addressing polarisation which had emerged during the campaigns and offered to collaborate with all leaders in the county to deliver services to the people of Makueni County.
A trained medic, Mr Mbilu cut his teeth under the tutelage of former Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana.
He begun as Prof Kibwana's Chief of Staff during the first term before becoming a executive Committee member in his the administration.
He beat seasoned politicians in 2017 to become the Speaker. Mr Mbilu's predecessor Stephen Ngelu, businessman Muema Ndungi and lawyer Dennis Mung'ata who had expressed interest in the Speaker seat withdrew in the last minute, leaving Mr Mbilu and Prof Kaloki.
Mr Mbilu enjoyed the backing of Mr Kilonzo Jnr who saw Prof Kaloki as a possible political rival and a potential challenger in the 2027 General Election.