At least four governors face stormy county assemblies after beating candidates fronted by mainstream political parties.
Kitui governor-elect Charity Ngilu, Laikipia’s Ndiritu Muriithi, Alfred Mutua of Machakos and Mohamed Kuti of Isiolo will lead counties whose assemblies are dominated by members of county assemblies (MCAs) from rival parties.
Mrs Ngilu’s Narc-Kenya party has minority seats in Kitui, whose assembly is dominated by members from the Wiper Democratic Party —which also dominates Machakos County where Dr Mutua won on a Maendeleo Chap Chap Party (MCCP) ticket.
Mr Muriithi is the Laikipia governor-elect, which is dominated by Jubilee MCAs while Dr Kuti will face a diverse assembly where Jubilee and independents have four seats each in a county with 11 ward representatives.
The support of MCAs is important for a sitting governor. Among their roles, the ward representatives approve budgets and have the power to impeach governors.
Hostile county assemblies gave headache to Martin Wambora of Embu, Prof Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni and the late Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua, who were all impeached but survived through court or Senate intervention.
Prof Kibwana has since moved from the minority Muungano Party to join Wiper Democratic Party, which is dominant in Ukambani.
In Kitui, Mrs Ngilu’s party won seven of the 40 assembly seats with Wiper taking 21 . The remaining 12 seats are shared between independents, who won five seats, and other small parties.
In Machakos, Dr Mutua who founded Mandeleo Chap Chap after a fallout with Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka also has minority MCAs from his party.
Maendeleo Chap Chap Party won nine of the 40 ward seats in Machakos where Wiper has 18 seats. Other parties like PICK, Ford Kenya, Narc and Independents share the remaining 13 seats.
Mr Muriithi, the incoming Independent governor faces a strong Jubilee party tide after narrowly trouncing the ruling party candidate.
Mr Muriithi scored 100,242 votes against incumbent Joshua Irungu’s 98,349.
Of the 15 elective ward positions, Jubilee took 11 followed by PNU (two) and one each for independent and CMD candidates.
In Isiolo, a fairly diverse local assembly awaits Mr Kuti Kuti where Jubilee has the most seats, but with just slightly over a third of the assembly.