Former Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has been elected the news speaker of the Senate, while Meru Senator Murungi Kathuri was elected Deputy Speaker after his Kilifi Counterpart Madzayo Stewart Mwachiru withdrew from the race.
Amason Kingi elected Senate Speaker
At least 10 Azimio Senators voted for the Kenya Kwanza candidate
Kingi becomes the third holder of the office since the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.
He will succeed Ken Lusaka who was elected as the Bungoma Governor on August 9, 2022.
"I accept with humility and pledge that I shall perform to my utmost ability, the constitutional responsibilities and duties of the office of the Speaker of Senate for the next 5 years with due diligence & decorum," he said.
Kingi won after garnering 46 votes, with NTV reporting that at least 10 Azimio Senators voted for the Kenya Kwanza candidate (Taita, Lamu, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Garissa, Turkana, Busia, Isiolo, and Jubilee Nominated Senator Margaret Kamar).
This is despite some Azimio senators walking out of the election, citing several reasons.
The Azimio senators faulted the clerk for failing to ruled in their favour after Senator Moses Kajwang called for the suspension of the speaker election.
Senator Kajwang’ argued that the gazettement of 20 nominated Senators was done less than 48 hours ago, and they didn't get a chance to apply to contest for the positions.
“We cannot proceed with the election for speaker and deputy speaker until the rights of nominated members of the senate have been respected and are accorded an opportunity to put in their application,” Kajwang’ stated.
He was joined by Narok Senator Ledama Olekina in arguing that holding the election of the Senate speaker and deputy speakers will infringe on the rights of nominated senators.
“We talk about inclusivity and diversity and this house, being a house of union, must lead by example. I would like to beseech you to suspend this matter until the time when everyone will be given an opportunity to present their papers,” the Narok senator said.
However, Senators allied to President-elect William Ruto urged the Senate clerk not to suspend the election.
The clerk ruled that he will not be suspending the sitting and further reiterated that the business at hand was canvassed by the Standing Orders.
According to the Standing Orders, the first business of the house after an election is swearing-in of members of the house.
After all members are sworn-in, the Senators proceed to elect a new speaker.
Azimio senators took a stand to not participate in the election, giving Kenya Kwanza candidate Amasong Kingi better chances to win.
The legislators who refused to participate in the election also cited integrity concerns with some of the candidates.
"We have been provided with CVs late yet we were also vetted before vying for our positions. We have not been provided with integrity documents of the candidates," Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna.
Kajwang' added that he had produced several reports that declared Kingi unfit to hold public office.
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