NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – As the newly elected Senators wait to be sworn-in Thursday, there is intense lobbying for the seat of Senate Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
Speaking during a media briefing on Tuesday at Parliament buildings, the Clerk to the Senate, Jeremiah Nyegenye confirmed that only seven candidates out of 21 made good their intentions of competing for the Senate Speaker’s position.
“As at the close of the nomination period, a total of seven nomination papers for election to the Office of Speaker of the Senate had been returned and received in the Office of the Clerk of the Senate,” said Nyegenye.
The seven include the incumbent Ekwee Ethuro, former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim, former Migori Senator Wilfred Machage, former Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka, James Gesami, Paul Gichuke and Rameshchandra Govind.
Nyegenye said 14 other candidates were effectively locked out of the race due to failure to return their applications to his office.
“The nomination papers of 14 candidates were not returned consequently locking them out from the race,” said Nyegenye.
Some of the notable individuals locked out from the race include the former Constitution and Implementation Commission (CIC) Chairman Charles Nyachae and former Kisii Senator Christopher Obure.
Others include Allan Chacha, Credius Oigara, George Bush, Gladys Kasive, Isamel Atudo, Jlius Chacha, Kevin Teimuge, Patrick Okelo, Rodgers Manana, Sammy Mathai, Timothy Ayieko and Vincent Kipkoech.
In the Senate Deputy Speaker’s race, according to Nyegenye, a total of five nomination papers were collected from his office and as at the close of the nomination period, only four candidates pushed to keep their ambitions alive to dethrone the incumbent Kembi Gitura after successfully returning their applications to Nyegenye’s office.
Muranga Senator Irungu Kang’ata, Nairobi Senator Johnson Arthur Sakaja, Kiambu Senator Paul Kimani Wamatangi and Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika were keen on deputizing whoever clinches the Speaker’s seat.
By late Tuesday, Sakaja had pulled out of the race to instead focus on getting Lusaka elected Senate Speaker.
All the 67 senators are expected to be sworn-in on Thursday before embarking on a voting process that will see them elect their next Speaker and Deputy Speaker in the 12th parliament.