The battle for the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker seat has narrowed down to two candidates after seven individuals were locked out for failing to meet the stipulated requirements.
Among those barred include the current Speaker, Benson Mutura who was seeking to defend his seat on a Kenya Kwanza ticket.
However, Mutura is counting his losses after the Assembly’s Clerk Edward Gichana, reported that he failed to submit a Kenya Revenue Authority's compliance certificate as well as a current copy of the police clearance certificate, commonly known as certificate of good conduct.
The remaining six candidates who were barred include Samwel Masaki, Arthur Ngugi, Charles Muratha, Ahmed Dubon, Brian Mutie and Amimo Austine.
The elections which Governor Johnson Sakaja gazetted to take place Thursday, September 29, will be a two-horse race between Azimio la Umoja's Ken Ng’ondi and Hassan Robow.
The news elicited mixed reviews across the political divide with allies of the Kenya Kwanza coalition reading mischief from Mutura's disqualification. A section of the Kenya Kwanza MCAs accused Gichana of being biased.
“How comes Mutura has served as Speaker and he is now being told he hasn’t met the requirements," Umoja MCA Mark Mugambo stated.
“We want to express our sadness and shock because the Clerk seems to have a preferred candidate by imposing unconstitutional requirements to lock out other candidates.
"We will make sure nothing goes on here tomorrow,” Waithaka MCA Anthony Kiragu noted.
In August 2020, Mutura succeeded Beatrice Elachi to become the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker after receiving 99 out of 122 votes in the race.
Initially, he served as the Member of Parliament in Makadara constituency. Mutura also became the acting governor of Nairobi county owing to the ouster of the former governor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko.
The battle to control the Nairobi County Assembly between the Kenya Kwanza coalition and Azimio continues to unfold -with the Speaker race likely to be the climax of the clamour.
Currently, Azimio has the Majority of members in the City Assembly with 45 MCAs. Out of this number, ODM has 35, Jubilee 6, and Wiper Party 4. On the other hand, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) consists of 35 MCAs and 1 for the affiliate party- Chama cha Kazi.
President William Ruto and Sakaja desperately need a grip on the House leadership to push the Kenya Kwanza agenda with ease.
But it is proving to be a hard nut crack for the duo after Azimio swept majority of key city seats, including Senator, held by Edwin Sifuna and Esther Passaris, the county woman representative. Raila Odinga's Azimio also holds majority of parliamentary seats in Nairobi.