Three eye position of majority leader in Taita Taveta amid confusion

Anselim Mwadime. [Renson Mlegwa Mnyamwezi, Standard]

Three newly-elected MCAs have declared interest in the powerful position of majority leader in the county assembly of Taita Taveta.

They include Ngolia MCA James Mghanga who successfully defended his seat on the Wiper ticket. Mghanga has served in the position before. Others are Wundanyi-Mbale MCA Jimmy Mwadime of ODM and Wiper's Patel Mng'ambwa, also of Wiper.

ODM and PAA have five MCAs each. Wiper has four while Jubilee has two MCAs. UDA, Tujibebe Wakenya party, PEP and CPK, have one each. PAA, Tujibebe, and CPK are part of the Kenya Kwanza coalition of president-elect William Ruto. Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya alliance has 11 elected MCAs against Kenya Kwanza's nine.

PAA leader Amason Kingi joined Ruto's team ahead of the August 9 polls after a fallout with ODM leader Raila Odinga. However, the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal stopped PAA's exit from Azimio as it did Alfred Mutua's Maendeleo Chap Chap.

At the Taita Taveta county assembly, there is confusion as to whether PAA's legislators should be included in the majority leadership positions as its party boss campaigned for Ruto. Some leaders have called for an interpretation of the law over the matter to determine the implication of the decision of the Tribunal over which coalition PAA belongs.

The confusion deepened after some PAA MCAs maintained they are in Azimio. Mgange-Mwanda PAA MCA Anselim Mwadime said they are part of Azimio and even campaigned for Raila. "We are ready to vie for senior positions in the assembly," said Mwadime after retaining his seat. Mghanga and Mng'ambo and Mwadime said they will vie for the majority party leader this week.

"With my experience after serving as county legislator for all that time, I think I am the most suited to hold the position. I will vie for it under Azimio," Mghanga said.

The election of the majority leader, among other senior positions, comes in the wake of intense lobbying. Some local leaders have claimed the election is a done deal and candidates for the position of majority leader had been already identified.

"The Azimio affiliate parties have already distributed the positions. This has been done in line with the parties' strength in the House," ODM county official Raphael Mwawughanga said on Monday. Last week, Wundanyi MP-elect Danson Mwashako, met Azimio's elected MCAs to strategise on the election of the speaker, among other positions in the house.

Mwashako, who spoke in Voi town, vowed to ensure Azimio controls the House. "We have the majority. This will enable us to take over the leadership."

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