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Laban Atemba: The Devolution Expert who Wants to be Kakamega Governor

Where Governor Oparanya is the CEO and accounting officer of the Executive Arm of the Kakamega County Government, Hon Laban Atemba is his equivalent as the CEO and accounting officer of the Legislative Arm of the Kakamega County Government.

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One of the Top Contenders for Kakamega Governor and Incumbent Kakamega County Assembly Clerk Hon CPA Laban Maloba Atemba

There is nobody who knows Kakamega County better and understands Devolution more than CPA Laban Maloba Atemba, the Kakamega County Assembly Clerk and one of the top contenders in race to succeed Governor Oparanya. Boasting 20 years of exemplary public service starting as Butere/Mumias Revenue Officer in 2001, Hon Laban Atemba can boast as being the most experienced leader and manager in matters devolution management and leadership among all the candidates vying for Kakamega Governor. As such, given the mandate of the County Governor is acting as the County Chief Executive Officer, Hon Laban Atemba is ahead of the rest seeking to succeed Oparanya in 2022.

As it is, the race to succeed Oparanya has come down to finding someone who can fit his big shoes, understands the role of the Governor beyond oversight, has proven track record to deliver as a manager, is capable of prudent public finance management and can continue the good initiatives of the outgoing Governor while at the same time making a clean break with the way things have been done in the last 10 years to forge a new and a better way of doing things in Kakamega for the next decade. In other words, Kakamega County needs a Second Governor who stands at a vantage position to appreciate what made Governor Oparanya tick but is also independent and able to bring about change and a fresh start for Kakamega people and Hon Laban Atemba is the man who fits the bill.

As Clerk of Kakamega County Assembly, there is no outsider in the Oparanya administration who better understands the County Government than Hon Laban Atemba. But unlike officials in the Oparanya administration, Hon Laban Atemba does not owe his allegiance to the Governor and can therefore promise to turn things around if elected with the advantage of knowing what is not working and how to fix it for the better. Hon Laban Atemba is the right Governor candidate for the many Kakamega residents who do not want to trust the job on a newcomer who needs a learning curve but also do not want a member of the current County Executive but change and fresh new ideas.

As provided for in the Constitution of Kenya, given that the County Government of Kakamega comprises the County Assembly and the County Executive, where Governor Oparanya is the CEO and accounting officer of the Executive Arm of the Kakamega County Government, Hon Laban Atemba is his equivalent as the CEO and accounting officer of the Legislative Arm of the Kakamega County Government. At the same time, like Oparanya who is a CPA (K) Holder, a member and one time official of Institute of Certified Public Accounts of Kenya (ICPAK), Hon Laban Atemba is also a CPA (K) holder, a member of the ICPAK in good standing and has also served as ICPAK official in the capacity of Western Branch Secretary.

In addition, Hon Laban Atemba is a solid devolution expert with 21 years’ experience having started his service in the defunct Local Government entities and transitioned to Devolved entities with advent of the devolution in 2013. Atemba launched his devolution career as a Revenue Officer in Butere/Mumias County Council in 2001 and served in that role until 2006 when he moved to Kakamega County Council as the Principal Revenue Officer. In 2008, he left to take over as the Treasurer of Mt. Elgon County Council until 2011 when he returned to Butere/Mumias County Council in the same capacity and remained until April 2013.

At the start of Devolution, Hon Laban Atemba was absorbed to the County Assembly of Kakamega as the Principal Finance Officer (PFO), the position he served Kakamega People in till 2017. Owing to his outstanding performance, Hon Atemba elevated to the position of Director of Financial Services of the County Assembly in December, 2018. He served in that position until 5th November, 2019 when he was appointed the Interim Clerk of the County Assembly of Kakamega following voluntary early retirement of his predecessor. The next day, on 6th November 2019, all members of the Kakamega County Assembly unanimously endorsed the approval for Atemba to assume the role of the substantive Clerk to the Assembly, the position he serves to date.

A soft-spoken but firm gentleman, Hon Laban Atemba has been hailed as the pillar of the County Assembly. Born 52 years ago in Khabukoshe village, Matungu Sub-County, Hon Atemba holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), a Masters of Business Administration (MBA – Finance Option) from Mt. Kenya University. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Finance. This strong CV is what has attracted many Kakamega County Residents to offer their support to Hon Laban Atemba’s bid. As a matter of fact, he more than meets Oparanya’s clarion call to Kakamega Residents to choose a second Governor who will not “gamble with the management of the affairs of the county.” The good news is that Hon Laban has what it takes to shake up the Oparanya system not being part of it!

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Why Wakili Oliver Kipchumba’s Senatorial Bid is Good News for Uasin Gichu

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Wakili Oliver Karori Kipchumba is set to debunk the myth that Uasin Gichu County cannot produce a Senator who is worthy the office. The County has won the notoriety in Senate as one that has misfortune of electing Senators who go in the opposite direction from the hopes and aspirations of the Uasin Gichu Residents. But that is about to change when Oliver Kipchumba, who has no serious challenger thus far, gets elected as the third Uasin Gichu Senator. With UDA Primaries just a fortnight away, Uasin Gichu Residents are showing open preference for Wakili Kipchumba as their Senator over Incumbent Governor Mandago who they see as part of the rotting wound in the County they are trying to cauterize.

One cannot argue with the fact that while Uasin Gichu County has many good things but it stands out as one of those counties in Kenya that has never been well represented in the Senate of Kenya since 2013. When Uasin Gichu Residents replaced the Silent Senator Isaac Melly (who spoke not once in the Senate) with Prof. Margaret Kamar, little did they know their Senator will make it her business to oppose what they support and support what they can’t stand at all.

Today, tired of shenanigans of Margaret Kamar, Uasin Gichu Residents are by all indications looking for new blood and a political firebrand to send to the Senate to voice their agenda. This is why many Uasin Gichu residents consider the entry of Lawyer Oliver Kipchumba into the Senatorial Race as God’s answer to their fervent prayers for someone to rescue them from the misfortune of deadbeat senators

The youthful and eloquent Oliver Kipchumba who describes himself as “a liberal conservative politician, an advocate, Political Commentator, Entrepreneur and a Committed Sunday School Teacher” reminds many Uasin Gichu residents of the young William Ruto who on arriving on the political stage in Eldoret North soon eclipsed those who had hitherto been deemed unbeatable and has never looked back. Many youth in the County also see Oliver Kipchumba candidature as  their chance to elect one of their own.

Oliver Kipchumba is not new to politics and leadership having been the Student Leader during his time at Moi University. He has since become a sought-after political debater by most National Television. He has also cut his teeth as a leading lawyer and has appeared for and represented many big names in court and in the boardroom. There is no denying when Uasin Gichu Residents elect Oliver Kipchumba in 2022 they shall have guarantee of the best and most articulate representation and oversight in the Senate.

Oliver is a duly admitted Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and an Holder of Masters of Laws (LL.M) from Strathmore University, Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Moi University and Diploma in Laws from Kenya School of Law.  Besides his quest to clinch the Uasin Gichu Senator seat, Oliver has been at the forefront in recruiting, coordinating and leading professionals in support of the Deputy President Dr. William Ruto’s bid to be the next President.

Based on his slogan of Putting Devolution into Perspective, Oliver Kipchumba says the role of the Senator is indispensable as the official spokespersons of the County in Parliament. He believes the next Uasin Gichu Senator must ensure the County Residents and Kenyans at large enjoy the fruits of devolution and the Governors and MCAs live up to their manifesto and expectations of the residents. If elected, Oliver Kipchumba is determined to end the culture of excess and runaway graft in the counties and ensure that the Second Governor of Uasin Gichu County delivers for the people.

Wakili Oliver Kipchumba with Deputy President William Ruto, the Chief Guest during his recent LL.M Graduation.

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Wakili Mbaluka Switch to Vie for Machakos Senator a Hailed as Sure Win

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Top Nairobi Lawyer Hon Joel Kyatha Mbaluka has joined United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and opted to vie for Machakos Senator, a move that has been hailed as a game changing hat trick and sure win by many political analysts. Many have hailed the move by Wakili Mbaluka to shift from the crowded Gubernatorial Race to vie for Machakos Senator as the right thing to given that Machakos Residents are frustrated by the illiteracy and incompetence of the Incumbent Senator and the other aspirants who have expressed interest in the seat left by Late Machakos Senator Hon Boniface Kabaka.

Wakili Mbaluka, being a counsel like Hon Boniface Kabaka, has been described as the right man to fit the big shoes left by the late articulate and firebrand senator who is already being missed by most residents who had grown to like his activism in the Senate. There is consensus among most Machakos Residents that they made a mistake in electing a Class 7 drop out to represent them in the current Senate which has become the house of the most learned debate.

Many Machakos County residents are alarmed that Senator Kavindu Muthama is yet to make a maiden speech more than one year since she was sworn in. In fact, many residents are not even aware who is their current Senator as they have not seen her in the news or speaking on the floor of the Senate. Even with all the stealing that has gone on in Machakos County in the last year, not once did Senator Kavindu as much as make a statement to call for transparency or accountability.

In fact, according to analysts, nothing has prepared Machakos County residents to elect another lawyer as Senator in August 2022 than having an incompetent gap Senator. People now can tell the difference between having a Senator who knows his job like Kabaka and having dead weight like Kavindu who is not even aware what is her job description. This is working to Wakili Joel Kyatha Mbaluka’s advantage given that he is considered as an outsider in Machakos County affairs and has no conflict of interest.

Analysts are also quick to note that Machakos County having rejected a Wiper Senate Candidate to elect Senator Kabaka, they will readily elect Senator Joel Kyatha Mbaluka to get the job done. Senator Mbaluka also has the advantage of coming from the Lower Machakos like Kabaka. His unity with UDA Chairman Hon Johnstone Muthama is likely to give him an advantage in other parts of Machakos which will sweep him to office with ease. As many have noted about Mbaluka’s shift to Senatorial race, holding all other factors constant, he may as well begin to prepare for swearing in as Next Machakos Senator.

Wakili Joel Kyatha Mbaluka when he joined UDA Presidential Candidate Dr. William Ruto at Masii in Mwala.

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Why Mbaluka is Preferred by 57% of Residents as Next Machakos Governor

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Machakos Governor Aspirant Wakili Joel Kyatha Mbaluka continues to lead in the polls even as his rating among the County residents is soaring to new heights. This runaway popularity of the Lawyer has been attributed to his demonstration of understanding who is a Governor, what does a Governor do and what he Machakos electorate should expect from him as the next Governor. In the latest Machakos poll, Wakili Mbaluka is leading with 57% of Machakos County Residents saying if elections are held today they will vote for him. His nearest competitor has meagre 18% support less than a third of Mbaluka’s support.

The opinion poll sampled the opinion of Machakos residents by posing the question: Who is Machakos Next Governor? The county residents were given to choose between Hon Kyatha Mbaluka, Hon Wavinya Ndeti (CAS of Transport), Hon Florence Mwangangi (Machakos County Speaker), Hon Johnstone Muthama (Former Senator and UDA Chairperson), Hon Francis Maliti (Machakos Deputy Governor) and Hon Patrick Makau (Mavoko Constituency MP). In what has been described as a case of David versus Goliaths, Wakili Mbaluka is emerging as the leader in the crowded race for next Machakos Governor.

The success of Wakili Mabluka has been attributed to his understanding of the role of Governor and how he has gone about selling himself to residents across the County. “A Governor is a Manager of County Affairs and resources and should be a diligent Manager and Brilliant Organizer like Joel Kyatha Mbaluka who is both a learned Lawyer but holder of a Master in Financial Management. Machakos County Residents can count on Governor Mbaluka to prudently deal with their county affairs and ensure our County resources are not wasted or misappropriated by dishonest county workers and cartels,” said a Political Analyst who requested anonymity.

According to Wakili Mbaluka, a Governor ought to be a diligent manager who understands the problems of his People like himself. He notes that having grown up in squalor within Machakos County and having had to endure going to a Primary School seven kilometers away on bare feet and to fetch water with a donkey every afternoon after school 12 kilometers away for the family, he is the best placed to address the persisting water scarcity issue with finality amongst other issues such as unemployment, bad infrastructure and poorly stocked hospitals as outlined in his manifesto.

“As I have outlined in my manifesto and explained to Machakos County residents from Kalama to Mavoko to Mwala to Yatta and Muthesya, my Government will have people of Machakos County as the priority and county funds and resources will only be deployed to the most deserving of priority areas where the greatest number possible/attainable of Machakos County residents will Benefit instead of selfish ventures of greedy County officials to make maximum kickbacks at the expense of service delivery for the people,” said Wakili Mbaluka.

Mbaluka thanked Machakos County residents for embracing his message saying that all he is seeking the Governor seat to serve them better and create employment opportunities for disadvantaged Machakos youth, fresh graduates and people with disabilities within County structures and further to attract investors in our great County to open up factories, companies and godowns to employ our youth and to promote the welfare of people with disabilities as outlined in his manifesto. He also promised to ensure equity in the allocation of resources in all Machakos subcounties.

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