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Governors pick Martin Wambora as council chairman

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Governors pick Martin Wambora as council chairman


Governors pick Martin Wambora as council chairman

From left, Kisii Governor James Ongwae, outgoing CoG chair Wycliffe Oparanya, Embu Governor Martin Wambora and outgoing CoG vice chair Mwangi wa Iria dance during the council’s Luncheon at Movenpick hotel in Nairobi on January 29, 2021. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

The Council of Governors (CoG) has picked Embu county chief Martin Wambora as its new chairman, deputised by Kisii’s James Ongwae.

The two, who succeed Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a) respectively, were appointed through consensus at a full council meeting at Movenpick Hotel in Nairobi on Friday.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos, who has stuck his neck out as Deputy President William Ruto’s critic in the Rift Valley, was appointed the chief whip taking over from Makueni’s Kivutha Kibwana, capping a clean sweep for pro-Handshake governors.

The CoG is established under section 19 of Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012. 

Section 19 (2) provides for the election of two governors as the CoG’s chair and vice chair. The two can serve for a term of one year and are eligible for re-election another term of the same period.

Governor Wambora is the CoG’s fifth chair, after Isaac Ruto, Peter Munya, Josphat Nanok (Turkana), and Mr Oparanya, in that order. 

The Kakamega governor was elected in 2019 and served as chair for two terms.

Others who were in the race to succeed him were Mr Kibwana, Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and Dhadho Godhana (Tana River).

Prof Kibwana dropped out of the race on Wednesday, informed in part by the consequences of his decision to oppose the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that is now President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy project.

Mr Godhana pulled out of the contest just before the election.

Committee bosses

The following were elected committee chairs:

  1. Agriculture – James Nyoro (Kiambu)
  2. Arid and semi-rid areas – John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot)
  3. Education – Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri)
  4. Forestry – Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua)
  5. Environment and climate change – Wilber Ottichillo (Vihiga)
  6. Blue economy – Fahim Twaha (Lamu)
  7. Tourism -Samuel Tunai (Narok)
  8. Labour – Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma)
  9. Finance and planning – Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia)
  10. Trade- Charity Ngilu (Kitui)
  11. Legal and constitutional affairs – Kiraitu Murungi (Meru)
  12. Urban planning and development – Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru)
  13. Health – Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu)
  14. Security and Foireign Affairs – Dhadho Godhana (Tana River)

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