Uncertainty as Governor Lelelit delays swearing-in of Samburu MCAs

Samburu County Assembly Speaker Solomon Lempere presides over the house proceedings on June 9

Photo credit: Geoffrey Ondieki | Nation Media Group

The date for the swearing-in of members of the Samburu County Assembly (MCAs) is yet to be known, as Governor Jonathan Lelelit has not gazetted the first sitting.

The House is fully constituted after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gazetted 11 nominated MCAs to represent special-interest groups.

Reliable sources told the Nation that the race for assembly Speaker is at the heart of the delay.

"There is still intense lobbying and the race is tight. That is why the government is yet to call for the first sitting," said the source.

The contest for the influential position has narrowed down to a bruising battle between the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya and President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza alliance.

The race pits the incumbent Solomon Lempere against Fred Lengees, who is fronted by the Kenya Kwanza team in Samburu.

The aspirants for the coveted position are courting MCAs-elect. They are banking on the 15 elected MCAs and 11 nominated ones to secure the position.

Assembly Clerk Patrick Leshore is yet to declare the Speaker's position vacant following Governor Lelelit's failure to call for the first sitting through a gazette notice.

Mr Lempere took over the mantle from Steve Lelegwe (now senator) in 2017. During his tenure, he led the assembly to pass important legislation.

The assembly dissolved on June 9, having passed 23 bills over the five years. Mr Lempere rated the House highly, saying MCAs’ performance was unmatched as they "passed crucial bills that will change people's lives".

Governor Lelelit faces an uphill task in governing the county as the rival Azimio coalition clinched a majority of seats in the assembly. He won under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), succeeding Moses Lenolkulal, who retired after serving two terms allowed under the Constitution.

Azimio captured 15 seats and six nominated, against Kenya Kwanza’s 11 and five nominated. MCAs allied to Azimio are 13 from Jubilee, one from Kanu and another from the Party of National Unity (PNU).

On the Kenya Kwanza side, President Ruto’s UDA has 10 slots, while Musalia Mudavadi's Amani National Congress (ANC) clinched one.

This means that Governor Lelelit could have a rough time working with Azimio-allied MCAs in passing important business such as the county budget, supplementary budget, county policies and motions.

Azimio-affiliated MCAs are James Leleruk (Suguta ward, Kanu); Joseph Loloju (Maralal, Jubilee); Jeremiah Leitoro (Elbarta, Jubilee), Lealmusia Ali (Ndoto, PNU); Lemoosa Lekuram (Nyiro, Jubilee); Paul Leshimpiro (Angata, Jubilee); James Lenanguram (Baawa, Jubilee); Francis Lemantile (Wamba, Jubilee); and Christopher Lentukunye (Wamba North, Jubilee).

Those nominated to the House under Azimio coalition are Silapia Lenamantiyo, Esther Lenolkulal, Eunice Lekirenyei, Agnes Wambua, Osman Dube and Stacy Nareyo.

Kenya Kwanza-affiliated MCAs who would back Governor Lelelit's agenda are David Lekuchula (Lodokejek, UDA); Felix Lenamparasio (Loosuk, UDA); Patrick Leerie (Poro, ANC); Lawrence Lorunyei (Nachola, UDA), Kelvin Lpesina (Waso, UDA); and Jackson Lelenkeju (Wamba East, UDA).

Those nominated under Kenya Kwanza are Rebecca Lolosoli, Charity Lenyakopiro, Asha Mohammed Ngigi Kagiri and Jane Loregae.

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