Why Kimemia, Kinyanjui were conspicuously missing from successors' swearings-in

Immediate former governors Francis Kimemia (L) and Lee Kinyanjui. [File, Standard]

Outgoing Nakuru and Nyandarua governors on Thursday, August 25 skipped the swearing-in of their successors.

Lee Kinyanjui, the outgoing Governor of Nakuru County, was missing from the Nakuru ASK Showgrounds, where Susan Kihika took the oath of office.

Kinyanjui of Jubilee Party lost his re-election bid after getting 225,623 votes against UDA candidate Kihika’s 440,707 votes.

Kihika, who served as Nakuru Senator between 2017 and 2022, becomes the first female Governor of Nakuru County, and the second woman governor in Rift Valley region after Joyce Laboso of Bomet (2017-2019). Laboso died of cancer on July 29, 2019 while in office.

Kinyanjui alleged that the August 9, 2022 polls were marred by irregularities. Despite protesting the outcome, he’s yet to file a petition in court.

County Secretary Benjamin Njoroge on Thursday led the assumption of office committee in welcoming Kihika to her new role.

Allegations of heckling

Kinyanjui did not respond to The Standard’s phone calls. However, one of his aides said in confidence that the outgoing county chief had received intelligence that he was going to be heckled at the function.

“We had received information that a plot had been hatched to have Kinyanjui heckled at the swearing-in ceremony. To avoid the humiliation, we advised him to stay away,” said the aide.

The Standard couldn’t independently verify these allegations.

In the absence of Kinyanjui, County Secretary Benjamin Njoroge on Thursday morning handed over the instruments of power to Kihika.

Kimemia was attending burial of a cousin 

In Nyandarua County, Francis Kimemia, failed to attend the swearing-in of his successor Kiarie Badilisha. The ceremony was held at Ol Kalou Town.

Kimemia, who was seeking re-election on a Jubilee Party ticket, lost in the August 9 polls after getting 52,187 votes against Badilisha’s 158,264 votes. Badilisha ran on UDA Party ticket.

Just like in Nakuru, the County Secretary of Nyandarua County Muigai Wainaina handed over instruments of power to Badilisha in the absence of Kimemia.

The event was held at Ol Kalou Arboretum.

A close aide of Kimemia told The Standard that the outgoing county chief was attending the burial of his cousin, King’ori Kimemia, in Kiambu County.

King’ori, who died last week, was Kimemia’s personal assistant.