The race for the speaker of Nandi County Assembly is in top gear as various candidates emerge to contest for the coveted seat.
In the hotly contested position, at least seven individuals have expressed interest to chair the county legislation house. There has been intense lobbying for the post with interested parties holding meetings with Members of County Assembly elect.
The Outgoing Secretary General of the County Assemblies Forum (CAF) Kipkirui Chepkwony, has flexed his muscle and is now eyeing the seat.
Chepkwony is the immediate MCA for Tinderet ward in Tinderet Constituency having served for two terms. He lost to new entrant Paul Birech.
The 39-year-old believes he has what it takes and experience needed to steer the third assembly in the right direction. “I believe I am the right person to steer the county agenda in the assembly,” he said
Chepkwony holds a Master’s degree in development studies from Kisii University, a BSc in Bio-Chemistry and Molecular science from JKUAT.
The out-going speaker Joshua Kiptoo is also defending the seat months after he unsuccessfully ganged up with former Governor Cleophas Lagat as his running mate to unseat the incumbent Governor Stephen Sang.
Lagat, the first Nandi County governor unsuccessfully tried to make a political comeback as an independent candidate but lost.
The 33-year-old Kiptoo, who holds a Masters in Law believes his relative experience in the legal fraternity and having gained experience in devolution is best placed to take over the Assembly leadership and propel it to the right direction
The speaker is the head of the legislative arm of the County Government and presides over its sittings. The election of the speaker despite being an independent decision of ward representatives is still exposed to external influence.
Former Chesumei Member of Parliament Wilson Kogo has also thrown his hat in the ring.
Kogo who holds a Bachelor of Education Arts from Egerton University flaunts his colorful record as a good manager having transformed the constituency he represented for five years.
The former Principal of Uasin Gishu High school will face off with youthful lawyer Daniel Chumba and Kibet Kisorio. Other hopefuls include Patrick Kitur and Elvis Kosgey
Lobbying for other key positions like Leader of Majority, Deputy Speaker, Leader of Minority and the Whips are also ongoing.
Filling the positions will also be a balancing act between rewarding loyalty, power distribution in the region and also accommodating losers in the just concluded election.
Nandi County has six constituencies namely Mosop, Nandi Hills, Tinderet, Emgwen, Chesumei and Aldai. Locals are optimistic that the positions will be distributed evenly to represent the face of the County.
“The elected MCAs are mature enough and we hope they will do their work diligently and elect leaders who represent the face of the County and also who are ready to work and deliver so as to uplift the living standard of residents. We want leaders who have the interest of the County at heart,” said Joshua Kipchumba, a resident in Kapsabet town.
Nandi County has 30 MCAs with UDA party having 25, ANC has three and two are Independent
By Linet Wafula