NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has named Amos Odhiambo Obonyo as the County Returning Officer for Bomet for purposes of clearing Deputy Governor nominee Shadrack Rotich.
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati gazetted the name in accordance with Constitution and Elections Laws which mandate the poll agency to approve if the nominee has complied with Leadership and Integrity provisions, the poll agency said.
Under Elections Regulations Obonyo is required to receive nomination papers in respect of Rotich having been nominated for the post.
He will also verify the declaration and announcement of results tallied once the County Assembly finalizes its consideration on his suitability to hold office.
Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok nominated the County Assembly Speaker Shadrack Rotich as his deputy after he was sworn in on August 8 following the death of his predecessor Joyce Laboso, who succumbed to cancer on July 29.
He was sworn by High Court judge George Dullu at a ceremony held at Bomet’s Green Stadium in Sotik.
Rotich was slated to be vetted by Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) on November 25, after which the Assembly is to gazette a day for the members to consider the report submitted to the MCAs advising them on whether to approve or reject the nomination of their Speaker to the Executive.
If he is successful, Rotich will be required to resign from his position as the head of the County Assembly after which he will be sworn into as the Barchok’s principal assistant.
Rotich will become the second person to assume the office of Deputy Governor mid-way since the 2017 General Election.
Nyeri Deputy Governor Carol Karugu was sworn in May 2018 after Governor Mutahi Kahiga assumed the county’s top seat following the death of Governor Wahome Gakuru in November 2017.
The Barchok’s choice of a male deputy has not been received well by a section of Kenyans and political leaders who had urged him to consider a female nominee in honour of his predecessor the late Governor Joyce Laboso.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Governors Anne Waiguru and Charity Ngilu speaking during Laboso’s funeral in August noted the importance of women leaders in the country, stating that Laboso had exceptionally led Bomet County and displayed how women can be impactful in leadership.