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Karen Nyamu joins race for Nairobi County Speaker

Karen Nyamu, the youthful lawyer who unsuccessfully contested the Jubilee Party nominations in Nairobi County is the latest entrant for the County Assembly’s speaker’s position.

Also eyeing the seat is Benson Mutura of Jubilee party who lost his bid to retain his Makadara constituency after he was defeated by ODM’s George Aladwa, a former Nairobi mayor.

The two enter the race which shaping up to be a do-or-die duel among leaders in Jubilee Party, in the City.

Jubilee won the most Member of County Assembly (MCA) seats in the just-concluded polls, with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) indicating that the party bagged 45 seats out of the 85 available.

The party will, therefore, have the majority in the Sssembly.

Ms Nyamu and Mr Mutura seek to wrest the coveted seat from the immediate former holder, Alex ole Magelo, who unsuccessfully contested the Kajiado West parliamentary seat on JP after defecting from ODM, which in 2013 supported him for the seat.

SIX OTHER CONTENDERS

The two now join six other contenders who have made their aspirations for the lucrative seat known, bringing the number of those who have expressed interest in it to eight.

The others are incumbent Ole Magelo, Augustine Kamande Kamau, who lost during the Jubilee Party primaries in Roysambu constituency, deputy Speaker Ken Ngondi (allied to ODM), county public service board vice chairman  Vesca Kangongo, outgoing Karura MCA Kamau Thuo and county chief of staff George Wainaina.

But even as the jostling intensifies, sources within Jubilee indicate that the party is zeroing in on specific  candidates, with Ms Nyamu and Mr Mutura as the front-runners.

The two leaders also enjoy close relationship with Nairobi Governor-elect Mike Mbuvi Sonko, who is a confidant of Deputy President William Ruto both of whom are said to be keen on who gets the Nairobi Speaker’s seat.

For Ms Nyamu, her legal experience and loyalty to Jubilee, which saw her stick with the party after losing the Woman Representative ticket to Rachel Shebesh, are being touted by her supporters in the party as key determinants.

INVOLVED IN SONKO’S CAMPAIGNS

She was also involved in Mr Sonko’s campaigns where she helped marshal youth votes.

Contacted Tuesday, Ms Nyamu confirmed that she was keen on getting the seat.

“Yes, I have expressed interest in the position,” she said.

“I am also lobbying and campaigning, just like other aspirants. As for being a front runner, it is too early to say so, but watch this space,” Ms Nyamu added.

On his part, Mr Mutura’s experience as a former Councillor with the defunct Nairobi City Council gives him an additional boost.

With Jubilee set to control the assembly, it will be interesting to see how the duel pans out.