Kenya: Magelo Quits City Speaker's Race, Supports Jubilee Party Pick Mutura

13 August 2020

Former Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Alex ole Magelo has officially withdrawn from the race to replace Ms Beatrice Elachi.

Mr Magelo was one of the seven individuals who had submitted their applications for the seat that fell vacant following the resignation of Ms Elachi on Tuesday.

He said that he will now throw his weight behind the candidature of former Makadara MP Benson Mutura, Jubilee Party's pick, ahead of election which will be held Friday afternoon.

"I have withdrawn in favour of the Handshake candidate. I have done so for sake of unity between members of the county assembly as I do not want divisions. I also want to thank the MCAs who had shown interest in supporting me," said Mr Magelo.

Call for unity

The former AFC Leopards chairman called on the MCAs to now unite and support the county government, the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) as well as the national government.

"They have numbers to now support the county executive as well as the Big Four agenda of President Uhuru Kenyatta," he said.

This now leaves former Nairobi County Economic Planning chief officer Washington Makodingo, former Nairobi Assembly deputy speaker Ken Ngondi, Mr Abdi Ali Abdi, Mr Mike Obonyo Guoro and Mr Allan Chacha Mang'era to square it out with Mr Mutura.

Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju said that the ruling party settled on Mr Mutura as their candidate after a meeting with all its MCAs in the county assembly and the leadership of Nairobi.

Jubilee meeting

Mr Tuju had convened a consultative meeting with Jubilee MCAs to seek a common stand on who will be the party's flag bearer in the race.

"I am aware there are five or six people who have shown interest in the contest for the seat but after our consultations, we have zeroed in as a party to support Mutura as our candidate. All other candidates are free to go lobby MCAs but as for the 66 MCAs, our candidate is Mutura," said Mr Tuju at Jubilee Party headquarters in Pangani.

Mr Mutura was unveiled to the ward representatives during the meeting and is now seen as a front runner in the race, with President Uhuru Kenyatta calling in to whip the members to back the Jubilee candidate.

However, some MCAs have said that they will throw their weight behind Dr Makodingo, a move that could split the votes for the party, with ODM yet to settle on its candidate.

Nairobi Assembly currently has 122 MCAs with 65 being Jubilee members while 57 are allied to the opposition.

Mr Ngondi said he is in the race to win and had already received support from a number of the MCAs. He served as Mr Magelo's deputy in the last assembly.

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