Youthful lawyer beats ex-Kanu minister to become Kitui County Assembly speaker

Lawyer Kevin Kinengo Katisya assumes his immediate role as Kitui County Assembly speaker. [Philip Muasya, Standard]

A youthful lawyer on Wednesday defeated former Kanu minister George Ndoto to become the Kitui County Assembly speaker

Kelvin Kinengo Katisya, 30, garnered 51 votes, trouncing the incumbent who got only six votes. Ndoto was seeking a third term. 

A total of 57 MCAs participated in the speaker poll conducted by the county Assembly clerk Elijah Mutambuki.

Kinengo, an advocate of the High Court emerged as the winner in the second round after the first round that saw nine candidates fail to produce the winner.

In the first round, Kinengo led by garnering 25 votes against Ndoto's nine votes, which curiously dropped to six in the second round.

Ndoto's advanced age seemed to have played to his disadvantage among the assembly members, half of whom are below 35 years. At nearly 80 years, Ndoto stood no chance among the youthful MCAs.

Speaking shortly after being sworn in, Kinengo said his election was proof that youthful leadership was being embraced in the political landscape.

"I will offer sound, transparent and firm leadership. I will not let you down," Kinengo noted.

In his congratulatory message to the new speaker, Kitui Governor Julius Malombe described Kinengo's victory as a new dawn for the assembly.

Governor Malombe noted that both the Executive and the County Assembly play a key role in the development agenda, saying a good working relationship will ensure that the county residents benefit.

"The mandate bestowed on Katisya by the MCAs reflects a new dawn for the Kitui County Assembly, signaling a progressive and responsive working relationship with the County Executive," Malombe said.

He called for unity and cordial and respectable working relationships between the two arms of the County government.

The speaker election was however not short of drama as one MCA was forced to repeat the oath of office twice after he swore "to defend Kalonzo Musyoka" in one instance, while on another he ended the oath with a "Wiper" chant.