Outgoing MCAs 'luckiest' as three get top elective slots

Susan Ngugi

Tharaka Nithi Woman Representative-elect Susan Ngugi speaking during the swearing-in ceremony of Governor Muthomi Njuki in Kathwana. Ms Ngugi was a one-term Mariamanti ward representative.

Photo credit: ALEX NJERU I Nation Media Group

The outgoing Tharaka Nithi County Assembly could be the luckiest in the country, with three of the 15 elected and five nominated MCAs getting ‘promotions’ to higher positions.

Ms Susan Ngugi, a one-term MCA for Marimanti ward, is the new Tharaka Nithi woman representative, Mr Gataya Mwenda of Mukothima ward scooped the Senate seat, while Wilson Nyaga Muisrael is Governor Muthomi Njuki’s deputy.

Mr Mwenda and Mr Muisrael were serving their second term, having been re-elected under Narc-Kenya in 2017 against a strong Jubilee wave that swept the county and the entire Mt Kenya region.

While Ms Ngugi expressed interest in the woman Rep position early, poking holes in the leadership of her predecessor Beatrice Nkatha, Mr Mwenda declared that he would seek to replace Senator Kithure Kindiki a few months before the polls.

Before Mr Njuki picked Mr Muisrael as his running mate a few months before the August 9 polls, the latter was seeking re-election for a third term as an independent after losing in the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party nominations.

In the first assembly, Mr Muisrael was the majority leader. In the second, he was the minority leader and chairman of the Public Accounts and Investment Committee.

Ms Ngugi, elected under The Service Party in 2022, was deputy Speaker until June 2020, when she was impeached on claims that she had stormed out of the chambers on December 12, 2018 as the list of assembly business committee nominees was being tabled.

She was also accused of using un-parliamentary language, contrary to her duty to protect the dignity of the assembly and its rights and privileges.

Political cold

Nominated MCA Anita Karimi Mbae is now the Mariani MCA-elect, while Gatiria Mbae (Ganga) and Nephat Kinuthia (Mitheru), who both served in the first assembly, have returned after staying in the political cold for five years.

Assembly Clerk Amos Kiangwe Sikweya lauded the MCAs, noting that they had been “promoted” because of the great work they had done as part of the House.

Of Kenya’s 47 county assemblies, he said, the second Tharaka Nithi assembly topped in legislation with 39 bills, of which 37 were enacted.

“The outgoing county assembly has achieved a great milestone, especially in legislation, and I believe that is why four of them have been ‘promoted’,” said Mr Sikweya.

Five MCAs were also re-elected, he said, compared with three re-elected in the first assembly but with none “promoted”.

Speaking when he was sworn in, Governor Njuki also praised the outgoing county assembly for being prolific in legislation and challenged the incoming one to follow suit.

He said the legislation had helped him achieve his development goals, helping him secure a second term.

The county boss promised to build modern facilities for ward reps and complete the official Speaker’s residence. MCAs now operate from temporary, semi-permanent iron-sheet chambers and offices.