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Survivor Martin Wambora wins Council of Governors top seat

NAIROBI
By Mireri Junior | January 29th 2021

Embu Governor Martin Wambora has been elected the new Council of Governors (CoG) chair, replacing Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

According to sources at the CoG meeting currently underway at the Nairobi's Movenpick Hotel, Wambora who chaired the committee on Trade, was elected as the fifth CoG chairman.

Wambora (pictured below) has overcome tribulations that plagued his first term as governor to head one of the most powerful devolution bodies in the country.

Wambora became the first governor to be impeached in 2014 after the Embu County Assembly accused him of embezzling Sh32.3 million as well as refusing to suspend Lorna Kariuki the then County Secretary over questionable tenders for the renovation of Moi Stadium and procurement of seeds for distribution to farmers.

He was impeached by the County Assembly a record four times in 2014 but challenged the decisions each time in court and warned.

He was re-elected in 2017, but his election was challenged by his opponent Lenny Kivuti, a case that moved to the Supreme Court which upheld his win.

Wambora will be deputised by Kisii Governor James Ongwae who headed the Human Resources, Labour and Social Welfare Committee.

The Embu governor battled it out against Kwale's Salim Mvurya, Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu) and Kirinyaga's Anne Waiguru. 

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana withdrew from the race the previous night, citing a possible conflict of interest owing to his presidential bid.

"As a 2022 presidential candidate, I have been advised by my team that serving in the next CoG executive can constitute a conflict of interest. I thank my colleagues for the opportunity to serve as Chief Whip," he said.

Elgeyo Marakwet Alex Tolgos has been elected the CoG Chief Whip, a position that was held by Kibwana while Nyeri's Mutahi Kahiga was elected to chair the Education Committee.

Wambora is the fifth governor to head the council after former Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto’s stint from 2013-2015, former Meru Governor Peter Munya- 2015-2017, Turkana’s Josphat Nanok who served from May 2017-January 2019 and Opranya from 2019-2021.

Oparanya was re-elected in his final term in January 2020 after seeing off six other contenders among them Waiguru (Kirinyaga County), Anyang' Nyong'o (Kisumu), Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Mvurya (Kwale) and Nanok (Turkana).

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