NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Over 1,000 elected County ward representatives took their oath of office nationally as well as those elected speakers of the corresponding County Assemblies.
All the ceremonies held on Friday were presided over by High Court judges and were held at designated county headquarters nationwide with the exercise of electing speakers mirroring the titanic contest witnessed between the Jubilee Alliance and CORD coalitions that marked the March 4 General Election.
The representatives took an oath of office affirming that they shall attentively serve the people of Kenya in transforming their respective counties where only elected county representatives were sworn in after the High Court froze that of nominated members until a case filed by the Gender Commission and the Kenya Association of the Physically Disabled is heard and determined.
In Nairobi, the ceremony started at exactly 10.00am and was presided over by Justice Msagha Mbogholi after which the election of the County Assembly Speaker took place where CORD affiliated ODM politician and chairman of AFC Leopards football club, the multiple national league champions, Alex Ole Magero carried the day in the speaker’s election by a solitary vote.
Magelo edged Mutunga Mutungi of The National Alliance (TNA) by one vote in the run-off after the first round of voting failed to produce a candidate who garnered a two-thirds majority as required with a final tally of 43 votes to 42 in a session where representatives struggled with the new standing orders before they ended up voting in secret ballot in an exercise overseen by the interim Clerk of Country Assembly, Jacob Ngwele.
“I Alex Sanaika Ole Magelo having been elected as the Speaker of the County Assembly of Nairobi do swear that I shall always truly and diligently serve the people and the Republic of Kenya in the office of the speaker of the county assembly in Nairobi,” the new County Speaker avowed.
He further urged all members to co-operate and work together despite their political affiliation. “I shall respect, uphold, preserve, protect and defend this constitution of the Republic of Kenya and I shall do right in all manners in accordance to the constitution,” he added.
In Kiambu County, Nick Githinji Ndichu was elected Speaker, while the post of Deputy Speaker went to Anthony Macharia, a County Assembly Member where a total of 60 Assembly members were sworn in a ceremony presided over by Justice Nzioki wa Makau accompanied by the County Magistrate of Limuru Law Courts.
In Kisumu, High Court advocate Ann Atieno Adul was elected as the first speaker of the County Assembly after managing to beat male candidates in a runoff that pit her against another learned colleague Kenneth Amondi Oduor. She won by 19 votes to 16 votes.
Thirty five County Representatives took oath of office before thousands of locals and swore to serve the people diligently. The swearing in that was conducted at the Kisumu County Hall was done by Chief Magistrate Lucy Gitari and presided over by Judge Hillary Chemitei where all members read through the oath with some missing and mumbling certain words to the amusement of the watching crowd.
Newly elected Kolwa East Ward County Representative, John Osumba Olum, took the biscuit by stating ‘illegally’ instead of the stipulated ‘legally’ inadvertedly invalidating his election to the assembly before he was corrected and allowed to assume office much to the delight of the mammoth gathering.
The swearing-in was witnessed by the County Governor-elect Jack Ranguma, Senator-elect Anyang Nyongo and elected legislators from the County.
In Nakuru Susan Kihika of TNA was elected Speaker garnering 36 votes to 19 polled by Macharia Mukiri while William Kamket of KANU got 22 to clinch the Speaker of Baringo County Assembly ahead of Julius Tarus of the United Republican Party (URP).
Nyahururu based lawyer James Wahome Ndegwa was elected as Nyandarua County Assembly Speaker beating fellow lawyer Susan Murage by 20 to 5 where the contest was reduced to two candidates after former Ndaragwa MP Gachara Muchiri opted out of the race in the last minute and vowed to support whoever who would be elected.
Prior to his election, the ceremony saw the swearing in of 25 County Ward Representatives by High Court judge Lucas Kimaru.