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Uhuru picks Elachi’s replacement

Jubilee Party has settled on former Makadara MP Benson Mutura as its candidate for the vacant Nairobi County Assembly Speaker’s position.

This as a showdown is expected in the election set for tomorrow (Friday) afternoon with six other individuals also eying the position.

Apart from the former MP, former Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Alex ole Magelo, ex-Nairobi County Economic Planning chief officer Dr Washington Makodingo, former Nairobi Assembly Deputy Speaker Ken Ngondi have also thrown their hat in the race to replace former speaker Beatrice Elachi who resigned on Tuesday.

Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi when she appeared before Senate Devolution and Intergovernmental relations committee on November 14, 2019. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
Former Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi when she appeared before Senate Devolution and Intergovernmental relations committee on November 14, 2019. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE

Abdi Ali Abdi, Mike Obonyo Guoro and Allan Chacha Mang’era are the other individuals shortlisted by acting Clerk Pauline Akuku.

Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju said that the ruling party had settled on Mr Mutura as their candidate after a meeting with all its MCAs in the county assembly and the leadership of Nairobi.

Mr Tuju had convened a consultative meeting with Jubilee MCAs to have a common stand on who will be their flag bearer in the race.

“I am aware there are five or six people who have shown interest in the contest for the seat but after our consultations, we have zeroed in as a party to support Mutura as our candidate. All other candidates are free to go lobby MCAs but as for the 66 MCAs our candidate is Mutura,” said Mr Tuju while speaking at Jubilee Party Headquarters in Pangani.

Mr Mutura was unveiled to the ward representatives during the meeting and is now seen as a front runner in the race with President Uhuru Kenyatta calling in to whip the members to back their candidate.

Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO
Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO

However, some MCAs have said that they will throw their weight behind Dr Makodingo, a move that could split the votes for the party with ODM yet to settle on its candidate.

Nairobi Assembly currently has 122 MCAs with 65 being members of Jubilee while 57 allied to the opposition.

Mr Ngondi said he is in the race to win and had already received support from a number of the MCAs. He served as Mr Magelo’s deputy in the last Assembly.

On his part, Mr Magelo had not made up his mind if he will be on the ballot after reports that he was withdrawing from the race in favour of Mr Mutura.

“I am yet to make the decision but I will inform you after I am done, ” said Mr Magelo.

Deputy Majority Whip Waithera Chege, however, expressed confidence in Mr Mutura saying he was the best fit for the position considering his knowledge and experience in Nairobi politics.

“Benson fits in this show very well. He has been in Nairobi politics for long enough including serving Councillor. We shall give him a super majority vote tomorrow. This Assembly needs someone who understands the political climate within Nairobi as well as unite the members irrespective of party affliction,” she said.

The Assembly is expected to hold a special sitting tomorrow at 2:30pm to elect a new speaker.