Anthony Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe
Bomet Governor Joyce Loboso was a woman of many firsts. She served as the first female Deputy Speaker in the 11th Parliament since 2013 when she was re-elected Sotik MP.
She would ably fill Speaker Justin Muturi’s shoes whenever needed, sometimes making unpopular decisions that rubbed MPs the wrong way.
She presided over many sessions, some stormy. One such was when the lawmakers traded blows in the House and Laboso was hit with water bottles as she presided over a sitting that approved changes to security laws.
Laboso would adjourn the chaotic debate twice before the controversial Security Laws (Amendment) Bill was passed.
In another memorable ruling, Laboso shocked her colleagues when she declared she had not received a copy of a censure motion against Leader of Majortiy Aden Duale. MPs supporting the motion were thrown into confusion after Laboso said she had not seen it despite its sponsor Kieni MP Kanini Kega saying it had been forwarded to her office.
Kega said he submitted the document to the Office of the Speaker but had neither received a response nor seen it listed on the Order Paper.
She is also on record of having overseen the National Assembly amend the Standing Orders to initiate punishment for members who engage in disorderly conduct in the House.
Laboso is also credited for having saved the day when opposition MPs plotted to shoot down the Jubilee administration laptop project. She had to call the vote twice — once through acclamation and later a physical ballot — to save the project, a key pillar of the Jubilee’s election pledges.
In 2017, Laboso became one of the three elected women governors in the country alongside Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru and Kitui’s Charity Ngilu. The first five years of devolution—2013-2017—had no female governor.