Row between governor and Speaker fuelling Kericho MCAs fights

In the recent past, Kerico MCAs have been embroiled in vicious leadership wrangles over House leadership positions - majority leader and majority whip.

There have been changes on the two slots three times since the August 2022 elections.

The president's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) had settled on Philip Rono as the majority leader and Peter Kemoi as majority whip before the court ordered the reinstatement of the previous leadership.

According to sources, trouble at the assembly was sparked by the supremacy battle between Speaker Patrick Mutai and Governor Erick Mutai, who do not see eye to eye.

When the assembly convened for the first time after the General Election, Governor Mutai backed former Bureti MP Kiptergech Mutai against Patrick for the Speaker's position, causing the bad blood.

The poor relations between the governor and the Speaker sparked a row between the county executive and assembly that spilled over to the election of the House leadership in November.

According to some MCAs who spoke to The Standard on condition of anonymity, the wrangles have sucked in Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, an ally of the Speaker.

During the first sitting of the third assembly, Londiani Ward MCA Vincent Korir was elected the majority leader, following an endorsement by members and UDA during a retreat in Kisumu on November 22.

But a few weeks later, while on a trip with Governor Mutai in Egypt, a group of MCAs said to be allied to the Speaker staged a coup and replaced Korir with Paul Chirchir, the Kapsoit MCA.

Korir moved to court to challenge the election of Chirchir.

As members were waiting for the hearing of the case on January 27, UDA Secretary General Veronicah Maina wrote to the Speaker on January 9, stating that the party had ratified the changes.

Ms Maina said the assembly leadership would have Philip Rono of Kamasian Ward as the new majority leader and nominated MCA Fancy Korir as deputy majority leader.

Kapsuser MCA Peter Kemboi is the new chief whip while nominated MCA Bavina Serem, a former radio journalist, is the deputy chief whip.

Maina said any other lineup contrary to the one endorsed by UDA would be null and void.

But when the House reconvened last Friday for a special sitting, members exchanged blows in the chambers over the leadership positions.

Hell broke lose after the adoption of a list of House leaders as directed by the court.