Kitui Governor-elect Julius Malombe during his swearing-in ceremony by Machakos High Court Judge. [Paul Mutua, Standard]

Justice Odunga said Ngilu's absence to hand over instruments of power would not invalidate the ceremony.

"But the instruments of power are here, so Dr Malombe is now constitutionally the governor of Kitui County," Justice Odunga said amid cheers.

Malombe said he would reclaim the lost glory of the vast county, promising quick fixes in the first 100 days in office.

He said he would complete abandoned projects such as the multi-million Kangukangu Water Project that was set to address biting water crisis in Kitui South.

In Machakos, jubilation rented the air at the Kenyatta Stadium where thousands of residents gathered to witness the swearing-in of Wavinya Ndeti and her deputy Francis Mwangangi.

Justice Grace Nzioka presided over the event, which was also graced by Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and elected MPs and MCAs from Ukambani.

Outgoing governor Alfred Mutua handed over instruments of power to the new administration.

Wavinya promised drastic changes in the first 100 days and to complete all pending development projects.

In Makueni, Kilonzo Jnr was sworn in at Unoa Grounds in Wote. He promised to work with various development partners to complete pending projects and start fresh ones.

 Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior being sworn-in at Unoa grounds in Wote. [Stephen Nzioka, Standard]

"We will seek partnerships locally and internationally and we will safeguard the interests of our people," said Kilonzo Jnr.

He, alongside his deputy Lucy Mulili, thanked outgoing governor Kivutha Kibwana for placing the county on the global map, adding that he would still embrace the public participation model to identify projects to be funded.

"Public participation will be a strong pillar of our governance system so that the people of Makueni can contribute towards the goals of prosperity of their county," he said.

He cautioned government employees against absconding duty, calling out those who had been keeping off work.

"All government officials must return to work; we will cross-check and ensure work is done well," he said.

On his part, Kalonzo Musyoka, who witnessed the swearing-in of the Machakos and Makueni governors, said he was sure the people elected the best.

"The people of Ukambani overwhelmingly voted for Wiper leaders, from MCAs to governors, and I have no doubt that they will deliver," said Musyoka.

[Phillip Muasya, Victor Nzuma and Stephen Nzioka]