Intense lobbying has kicked off for Nyeri Deputy Governor’s seat with names of prominent individuals being fronted.
Mutahi Kahiga who was the deputy governor assumed office following the demise of Governor Wahome Gakuru.
This follows proposals by the Senate to pass legislation to allow the governor to appoint his deputy.
On January 15, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen said he will introduce a Bill in the Senate to allow a governor to appoint his deputy should the seat fall vacant.
“There is a gap in the Constitution and so what the Bill intends to achieve is to fill that gap,” said Mr Murkomen.
“The Bill will ensure governors appoint their deputies and send their names to their respective County Assemblies within 14 days for approval,” he added.
The lawmakers are on recess and are expected to resume sittings on February 13. Leaders being fronted to take up the seat are former Nyeri Governor Samuel Wamathai and former Nyeri Woman representative Priscilla Nyokabi.
Amb Wamathai told Sunday Standard that his name has indeed been floated and exuded confidence that he has what it takes to win the job.
He served for only six months after he assumed office following the death of first Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua last year.
Wamathai’s proponents argue that he has the capacity to take up the job having served in the same capacity before.
The former governor is banking on his experience in public service and the UN where he served as deputy permanent secretary to clinch the seat.
“What matters is not the title but ability to serve in a given position and people must remember that after the 1988 General Election, the then Vice President Mwai Kibaki was demoted by Moi and was appointed minister for Health. He diligently served in that capacity and I can also do the same,” he said.
Wamathai noted that the job requires an honest and loyal person.
“Of all those being mentioned am the most qualified having held senior position at the National and county level. The others are greenhorns,” he explained.
Wachira Keen, the Athi Water and Services Board chairman and former chairman of the defunct Nyeri County Council, is also eyeing the seat. However, he said it’s too early to talk about the position that was yet to be anchored in law.
“It is the work of Governor Kahiga to look for a deputy who also shares his vision for the county, in the event he settles on me I am up to the task,” Mr Keen, a businessman said.
He is reportedly being fronted by former Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe.
In the last General Election, Keen was one of the chief campaigners of the former Senator who unsuccessfully contested for governorship.
Others being lined up to deputise Kahiga are Dr Stephen Gachie who hails from Mukurwe-ini and Peter Warutere who comes from Mathira.
Gachie is a consultant in economics and a lecturer at Tangaza University.
He is also a Business Administration and Management Consultant at Streetwise Marketing and Communications Ltd. Warutere is also an economist and he does consultancy contracts with Bretton Woods Institutions like World Bank, UNDP and governments.
At one time, he served as Business Editor for Daily Nation and a columnist on topical economic issues.
The Bill if passed into law, could also favour Nairobi County where Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe resigned last week.
Mr Igathe said he will leave office on January 31 after he failed to win the trust of Governor Mike Sonko to run county affairs
The Constitution and the County Government Act are silent on what happens when the office of the Deputy Governor falls vacant.