President-elect William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has fronted Charles Thiong’o for the position of Kiambu assembly Speaker, potentially locking out the incumbent Stephen Ndichu and fellow aspirant Charles Chege.
Mr Thiong’o is a founder member of UDA and lost during its nominations for the Githunguri parliamentary seat. He lost to incumbent Gathoni Wa Muchomba, who eventually won the seat.
The deal for Mr Thiong’o to get the Speaker post, the Nation has learnt, was reached last week, a blow especially to Mr Ndichu, who shelved his Senate and later governor bids and supported UDA.
Mr Chege, for his part, vied for the Kabete parliamentary seat as an independent candidate and lost to James Githua Kamau, alias Wamacukuru, of UDA.
Mr Ndichu and Mr Chege on Friday declined to comment on the development. Governor Kimani Wamatangi had not responded to our inquiries by the time this story was published.
Kiambu is expected to elect its Speaker by the end of next week.
Mr Thiong’o was a key campaigner for UDA in Kiambu after he lost in the party’s primaries in Githunguri.
“So many stories have been going around, but what most people don’t know is that I am a founding member of the UDA and after I lost in the nominations in Githunguri constituency, I continued working with the party and championing its development agenda in Kiambu,” he said.
“So the issue of being fronted or the process being influenced is untrue.”
“My aspirations are that if I am elected as the next Speaker of the Kiambu assembly, I will work closely with the executive and the legislature independently and pass as many bills as possible that benefit mwananchi and elevate their economic status, more so in terms of empowerment,’’ he explained.
“Ruto does not want the political infighting that has been happening in Kiambu to reoccur, where ward reps start war with the governor immediately he is sworn in and the falling-out eventually ends up in initiating impeachment of the governor,” a source told the Nation.
The source cited the wrangling between former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu and his deputy James Nyoro. “At the end of the day, it is the people who suffer,’’ the source said.
Dr Ruto believes that if the Kiambu assembly gets a weak Speaker, “this may not turn out very well and may start [creating] factions within”, another source said.
Some Kiambu ward reps have warned UDA and Governor Wamatangi against influencing the choice of the Speaker, saying they should be left to make their own decision.
“We are aware of the lobbying that is being pushed by the top executives of UDA to influence who becomes the Speaker of the Kiambu assembly, but we request Mr Ruto and the governor to leave it to us to decide,” a ward rep opposing the lobbying told the Nation in confidence.
“It is too early to start creating unnecessary wars in the assembly.”