Four cleared to contest Bomet County Speaker’s seat after John Lang’at was revoked


Bomet County: Four contenders have been cleared to vie for the Speaker’s post in the Bomet County Assembly ahead of Wednesday elections.

Receiving the applications, the assembly’s interim clerk, Daniel ole Nkere, said out of the 17 contenders, only four managed to make their applications on time and have been subsequently cleared. Those in the contest are Geoffrey Kipngetich, Joel Koskei, Nelson Mutai and Leonard Samoei.

Unlike other elections, the contest comes at a time when the county is in the limelight over the role its governor, Isaac Ruto, is playing in fighting for devolution, and his recent criticism of the Jubilee government.

It also comes barely two weeks following allegations that Deputy President William Ruto planned to use the assembly to impeach the governor, a claim the assembly members have rejected.

Undermine party

In addition, a section of Rift Valley politicians led by Kericho Senator Charles Keter and Deputy Speaker for Parliament Joyce Laboso have threatened to expel the governor from URP, claiming he was undermining the party which is led by the Deputy President.

The governor has laughed off the threats, saying that they do not have any standing in the law. For the past one week, lobbying targeting the 35 ward representatives has intensified, with claims that money was changing hands.

The seat fell vacant after the High Court ruled that the election of John Lang’at was unconstitutional on grounds that he had not resigned from his job by the time he vied for the position. Lang’at is the immediate former clerk for the Kipsigis County Council. Efforts by his lawyers to appeal the decision were unsuccessful.

Political pundits in the region say the battle of the two Rutos is likely to tilt the patterns as the seat is particularly important to the two. On the one hand, it would provide a chance for the deputy president to have close ties with the assembly. On the other, by having a loyal Speaker, the governor would have an advantage.