Africa-Press – Kenya. The race for the speaker of Nairobi County Assembly is in top gear as nine candidates have emerge to contest for the coveted seat.
In the hotly contested position, nine individuals who have expressed interest to chair the county legislation house have returned their nomination papers as of Tuesday morning.
County Assembly clerk Edward Gichana said the nine were yet to be shortlisted in order to know who has qualified for the speaker’s elections.
“So far nine candidates have returned their nomination papers and they will be shortlisted so that we know who will be in the race on Thursday,” he said.
They include Ken Ng’ondi (Ex-deputy speaker), current Speaker Benson Mutura, Samuel Masaki, Brian Mutie, Hassan Mohammed, Arthur Ndung’u, Austin Omimo, Charles Moratha and Okello Ooko.
The speaker’s election is set to take place on Thursday when the 124 MCAs will be sworn in.
Last week, Gichana called on qualified persons interested in the position of speaker to pick up nomination papers from his office between September 23 and 26.
There has been intense lobbying for the post with interested parties holding meetings with MCAs elect.
By law, the election of the speaker is supposed to take place immediately after the MCAs are sworn in. The standing orders also state that there would be only be two items in the order paper on the first sitting — the election of the speaker and swearing-in of members.
“A speaker shall be elected when the county assembly first meets after a general election and before the county assembly proceeds with the dispatch of any other business, except the administration of the oath or affirmation of office to members present,” reads the standing orders.
The speaker’s roles are to preside over debates of the county assembly at every sitting and maintain assembly attendance register and orders, relevant statute and assembly traditions, procedures and practices.
Besides being the spokesperson of the assembly, the speaker ensures the dignity of the assembly is upheld and disciplines MCAs for misconduct, among other roles.
The Clerk also revealed that three MCAs have returned nomination papers for the deputy speaker’s position.
They include Mihang’o MCA Paul Kados, Samora Mwaura (Clay City) and Hashim Kamau (California).
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.
However, the leadership positions will be appointed by the respective political parties represented at the assembly.