Third in Command: Wetangula elected National Assembly Speaker
Former Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula is now Kenya’sthird in command after being elected Speaker of the National Assembly on Thursday evening.
Wetangula beat his main competitor former Speaker Kenneth Marende of the Azimio la Umoja Coalition. In the first round, where one needed a two-thirds majority (233 votes), Wetangula got 214 while Marende got 130.
Ordinarily, the voting would have gone to the second round but Marende wrote to the clerk saying he would not take part in the second round.
There were initial protests to his candidature after Azimio la Umoja MPs claimed that he had not properly resigned from his position as Bungoma Senator. However, the Clerk dismissed the protest on the strength of letters from Wetangula, the Senate, and the IEBC.
Wetangula was born on September 13, 1956, is married to Married to Anne and Phyllis Wetang’ula, and has three children.
After his secondary education at Friends School, Kamusinga, he was admitted to the University of Nairobi where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree.
Wetang’ula is the Ford Kenya party leader as was first elected MP when the late former President Daniel Moi nominated him to parliament in 1993. Before then, he had served as a magistrate and also represented soldiers who were involved in the 1982 coup attempt after he joined private practice.
He also served as chairman of the Electricity Regulatory Board after he lost in the 1997 general election. He was re-elected in 2002 and appointed assistant Minister for Foreign affairs and elevated to Minister after the 2007 elections in the Grand Coalition Government.
He was later moved to the Ministry of Trade where he served until 2013 when he was elected the Senator for Bungoma County. He was re-elected in 2017 and 2022 but resigned in the latter to seek the position of Speaker under William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza coalition.