Surprise VIP attendance, serenade by spouses: Swearing-in standout moments

From left: Susan Kihika and her husband Sam Mburu; Kawira Mwangaza’s spouse (c) and Gladys Wanga taking oath of office. [Standard]

As Meru County ushered in a new era on Thursday, the husband of the woman of the moment, Kawira Mwangaza, came armed with his guitar and a music band.

Murega Baichu, Mwangaza’s spouse, is a professional musician and preacher.

He strummed the guitar with a smile on his face as Mwangaza received the instruments of power and a certificate, to become Meru County’s first female governor.

In her speech, Mwangaza said: “I recognise and appreciate my loving husband, his excellency Murega Baichu, now the first gentleman, and my entire family for their love, care and being my support system during the rigorous campaign period. I am so grateful to you.”

Mwangaza dislodged political born-winner Kiraitu Murungi from the seat.

In Trans Nzoia County, George Natembeya swiftly moved into his new office shortly after taking the oath of office.

He said he did not want to waste any more time. He took over from Governor Patrick Khaemba. Natembeya’s swearing-in was attended by Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.

In Migori County, Okoth Obado, the outgoing governor, said he had a “difficult time” in his tenure, claiming he was “insulted and starved of support by the constituents”.

Migori’s new governor Ochillo Ayacko had to implore upon attendees of his swearing-in to allow Obado make his address. The crowd had earlier booed in efforts to stop Obado from making his final address as the Governor of Migori County.

In Kisumu, Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga made an unexpected stopover at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium shortly after Anyang’ Nyong’o took the oath of office. Odinga’s presence at the event, though an impromptu one, sparked excitement.

In Laikipia County, outgoing governor Ndiritu Muriithi exhibited sportsmanship by attending Joshua Irungu’s inauguration accompanied by his wife, Maria Mbeneka, and family. The outgoing first family led the crowd at Nanyuki Stadium in singing Kenya’s national anthem. Murithi lost to Irungu in the August 9 polls.

In West Pokot, unlike was the case in a few counties, outgoing governor John Lonyangapuo was pictured all smiles as he handed over the instruments of power to his rival Simon Kachapin.

In Homa Bay County, Gladys Wanga’s swearing-in was attended by Martha Karua, who was Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya deputy presidential candidate in the August 9, 2022 General Election.

In Kirinyaga County, there was an unusually heavy police presence at Kamiigua Youth Polytechnic in Gichugu during the swearing-in of Anne Waiguru, who is serving her second term.

It was feared that violence could erupt as Waiguru and her main challenger, Wangui Ngirici, had a hotly contested race. Ngirici lost the election by 7,411 votes. Waiguru of UDA polled 113,088 to be declared the winner. Ngirici, an independent candidate, came a close second with 105,677 votes.

In Nakuru County, Susan Kihika assumed office as the third governor of the county. Her predecessor Lee Kinyanjui gave the ceremony a wide berth, with his aides saying they had received intelligence that a group had been organised to heckle him. Kihika was accompanied to the ceremony by her husband Sam Mburu.

In Kisii, the new governor, Simba Arati, immediately embarked on inspecting a guard of honour after he was sworn into office.

In Nyandarua, the outgoing governor Francis Kimemia skipped his successor Kiarie Badilisha’s swearing-in, saying he (Kimemia) had planned to attend his cousin King’ori Kimemia’s burial in Kiambu County on Thursday.

In Siaya County, the new governor James Orengo was entertained by a band from Maranda High School shortly before taking the oath of office.

In Nairobi, Johnson Sakaja’s oath-taking was attended by President-elect William Ruto.

Sakaja arrived at the venue with his wife and three children in tow.

Celebrated musician Nyashinski, who is Sakaja’s friend, performed at the ceremony that was emceed by radio presenters Massawe Japanni and Jimmy Gathu.

Forty-five (45) governors assumed office on Thursday, marking a new era in the county administrations.

Only Mombasa and Kakamega counties are yet to know their would-be new governors as elections are scheduled for Monday, August 29, 2022 after ballot papers mix-up on August 9.