Handshake politics: Nairobi Deputy Speaker John Kamangu resigns

Former Nairobi Deputy Speaker John Kamangu during a plenary session at the assembly.

Photo credit: Collins Omulo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mr Kamangu's resignation on Thursday was in line with a pact between the Orange Democratic Movement and Jubilee Party that saw the former support the latter in the contest for the speaker position.
  • The development paves way for the election of a new deputy speaker, a position that ODM will now hold.
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Nairobi County Assembly Deputy Speaker John Kamangu has resigned “in the spirit of the handshake” between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Mr Kamangu's resignation on Thursday was in line with a pact between the Orange Democratic Movement and Jubilee Party that saw the former support the latter in the contest for the speaker position.

Mr Kamangu, who is among the longest serving leaders in the assembly, said, "After soul searching and consultation with the Jubilee leadership in the assembly, I have decided, as a believer of the handshake, to tender my resignation effective September 10.”

He added, "It should be noted that this county is bigger than us all. I am wishing the next office holder the best and I promise to support the assembly in any capacity.”

Following the resignation, Speaker Benson Mutura declared the seat vacant and said the election of Mr Kamangu’s successor will take place next Tuesday.

The development paves way for the election of a new deputy speaker, a position that ODM will now hold.

In August, ODM nominated former Nairobi Mayor and Baba Dogo MCA Geoffrey Majiwa as its candidate for the deputy speaker seat.

Experience

Mr Kamangu was elected deputy speaker in 2017 when Beatrice Elachi was the speaker.

He was a two-term councilor before being elected MCA in 2013.

Majority Leader Abdi Guyo described Mr Kamangu as a political guru who was a leader in Nairobi before the advent of devolution.

"Kamangu has served this House with honour. Jubilee Party supports his resignation and appreciates the work he has done.”

Minority Leader Michael Ogada said Mr Kamangu took a bold step to strengthen the handshake.

"The minority side is indebted to you.  You can count on my party (ODM) to collaborate to move the assembly forward," said the Embakasi MCA.

Minority Whip Peter Imwatok said Mr Kamangu was an unmatched “father” of the house.