Lobbying for the vacant seats in the Taita Taveta county Assembly has intensified with the coveted Speaker’s position drawing the interest of two female lawyers Ms Mwanaisha Shariff and Janet Mwawasi Oben.
Ms Mwawasi Oben had tried her hand in the nominations of women representative but lost to Lydia Haika, who clinched the seat on a Jubilee ticket in the just concluded general elections.
Several other candidates, among them parliamentary losers in last week’s general elections have declared interest for the position, currently held by Meshack Maganga who has vowed to defend his seat.
Other vacancies up for grabs are the deputy speaker, leader of majority, deputy majority leader, Chief Whip, Deputy Whip, Minority Leader and Deputy Majority Leader.
The immediate County Assembly Deputy Speaker, who is also the Bomani Ward Representative in the border town of Taveta Chrispus Tondoo has also said that he would also fight it out to retain that position.
Mr. Tondoo disclosed that a total of about 10 candidates have so far declared interest for the key position, among them the incumbent County Director of Legal Affairs Officer Fredrick Mwabili, two Wundanyi Parliamentary losers Raymond Mwangola (ODM) and Cromwell Baridi (Ford Kenya).
Others include the County Executive Committee (CEC) member in-charge of Environment and Natural Resources Alexander Mwangeka, a Director with the Coast Water Services Board Faustine Mgendi and a Senatorial loser Jeremiah Kiwoi, among others.
In a telephone interview with KNA, Friday Ms. Sharif, Mwangola and Mgendi confirmed that they were going for the top county assembly post.
It is true that I have expressed interest for the top position. I am ready to battle it out with other candidates, said Sharif.
The lawyer carries with her a wealth of knowledge in county matters and has been credited for drafting the County Bursary Bill which enabled bright students from poor families to access bursaries.
I have done a lot in this county and if given a chance, I will do even more, said Sharif.
She also served as one of the Joint Secretaries in the Tribunal which was formed to investigate the late Ambassador Bethwel Kiplagat’s suitability to chair the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).
The other joint secretary in the tribunal was Perpetual Waitere.
Mgendi on the other hand, is a certified public accountant and is calling on the members of the county assembly to ensure that regional balance is observed in electing the new Speaker.
He suggested that since the Governor- elect Granton Samboja and his Deputy Majala Mlagui are from Taita and Mwatate Sub Counties, the next Speaker should come from either Voi or Taveta Sub Counties for fairness to prevail.
However, the County Assembly Clerk Michael Ngala said that despite the spirited lobbying for the positions by various candidates, the various key posts had not been declared vacant until after the newly elected members of the county assembly were gazetted.
Source: Kenya News Agency