The race to replace ousted Kisumu County Assembly Speaker Onyango Oloo (pictured) has intensified after the County Assembly declared the seat vacant.
The declaration made by Assembly Clerk Owen Ojuok yesterday has already thrown candidates into a frenzy of lobbying in a bid to capture the hot seat dogged with controversies since inception of devolution in 2013.
Already, two lawyers have entered the race to replace Oloo even as several MCAs threw their weight behind the current acting Speaker Elisha Oraro.
The development is also set to reignite politics in a House that has been trying to restore calm after several months of infighting and divisions that also contributed to Oloo’s ouster.
Kenneth Amondi and Geophrey Yogo, both advocates of the High Court said they will contest the seat and termed the declaration as a sigh of relief.
They are however facing a tough test from the current acting Speaker Oraro who also has the backing of a number of MCAs and has also been on a quest to get blessings from top leadership of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party.
During his short stint as acting speaker, Oraro has rallied MCAs to support his leadership and recently launched an assembly Mashinani initiative in a bid to improve the relationship between the House and the public.
Kondele MCA Joachim Okech said they will front for Oraro’s confirmation and described him as a sober leader.
“We will rally members to back the acting speaker because he is most suited for the position,” he said.
In December, Oraro met ODM leader Raila Odinga as he sought to woo him to rally the ward reps to back him for the seat.
The development is also set to provide fresh headache to ODM given that Amondi has handled several cases involving the party as well as the county government. It is also set to put to test the loyalty of MCAs who have in the past shifted their loyalties for personal interests.
This was evident in Oloo’s downfall. A few weeks before he was ousted from office, he had the backing of almost all MCAs and had even managed to rally them to support his quest to construct a new assembly by pushing for an allocation in the 2019/2020 budget.
Oloo is also seeking to save his job through an appeal and has already expressed intent to challenge the court decision that trashed his position as speaker through a notice of appeal.
Lawyer Yogo who also unsuccessfully challenged the seat said he would give the candidates interested in the set a run for their money.
“I am best suited to take over the seat, I will restore unity at the County Assembly and use my vast experience in law to generate laws that can make the county prosper,” said Yogo.
Candidates interested in the seat have up to Tuesday next week to submit their applications.
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