24 governors to defend seats, as 10 senators seek top county jobs

Kakamega County Senator Cleophas Malala (right) was cleared to contest by IEBC on June 7, 2022. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

At least 24 first-term governors have been cleared by the electoral agency to defend their seats.

Ten senators are no longer interested in their oversight role, and now want to call the shots in the counties.

Some of the senators are seeking to succeed some of the 21 governors whose second terms in office are ending in 61 days.

Some of the governor cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) include Kiraitu Murungi of Meru, who is defending his seat on the Devolution Empowerment Party ticket, and Kisumu's Anyang' Nyong’o of  ODM. 

In Kitui, Governor Charity Ngilu will be seeking for a second term on NARC party ticket.

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard] 

Also in the race Mohammed Mahmoudof Wajir, who survived an impeachment after nasty wars with his deputy and the MCAs.

Laikipia's Ndiritu Mureithi, who is the chairman of Raila Odinga Campaign Board, has been cleared to defend the seat, while his neighbour, Francis Kimemia of Nyandarua got the nod to try complete his tenure on a Jubilee ticket.

Another first-term governor, Anne Waiguru of Kirinyaga, was also given the green light to fly the UDA flag, while in West Pokot, Governor John Lonyangapuo, who was elected on a Kanu ticket, will now vie on Kenya Union Party.

Others cleared are Stephen Sang of Nandi (UDA) and Nakuru's Lee Kinyanjui (Jubilee).

Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo, who took over after the death of John Nyagarama, will defend the seat using the United Progressive Alliance Party.

In Vihiga, Wilbur Ottichilo (ODM) will be on the ballot, as will Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku of ODM, Nyeri's Mutahi Kahiga (UDA), Dhadho Godana of Tana River and Marsabit's Mahmoud Ali (UDA).

Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

In Tharaka Nithi and Bomet, governors Muthomi Njuki and Hillary Barchok of Deputy President William Ruto's party UDA are also battling their rivals to continue their administration.

Dr Barchok, who served as the late Joyce Laboso's deputy, will be facing off with former governor, Isaac Ruto.

The revamped Jubilee Party will also be seeking to stamp its authority in Kiambu and Taita Taveta through governors James Nyoro and Granton Samboja.

Mr Samboja was sponsored by Kalonzo Musyoka's Wiper Party in 2017.

Other Jubilee governors cleared are Fahim Twaha (Lamu) and Ali Korane (Garissa).

Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati will be defending the seat using ODM ticket. In 2017, he defeated Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, who was the first area governor, and they will be meeting again on the ballot.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka. [Nathan Ochunge, Standard]

Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis is vying as an independent candidate after losing in UDA nominations to his predecessor Benjamin Cheboi.

The senators who want to be governors include James Orengo (Siaya), Sam Ongeri (Kisii), Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu), Irungu Kang'ata (Murang'a), Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni) and Susan Kihika (Nakuru).

Others are Ochilo Ayacko (Migori), Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) and Charles Kibiru (Kirinyaga).