House to vet 27 people for 9 Eala slots

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022 01:30 | By
The National Assembly in session. Members of the 13th Parliament will enjoy improved perks. PD/file
The National Assembly in session. PD/file

Parliament has formed a joint committee to vet nominees to the East Africa Legislative Assembly (Eala).

The members to represent Kenya in Eala will now be vetted by a 14-member committee. This is after the East African Court of Justice ruled that all member states must present their representatives.

The current term of office ends on December 17, 2022. This means all member states must have their nominees ready before then.

The National Assembly and the Senate have now formed the committee to vet the nominees from parliamentary political parties in the two Houses.

In the Senate, Dan Maanzo (Makueni) will co-chair the vetting committee and the members include Raphael Chimera (nominated), Joyce Korir (nominated), Miraj Abdulrahman (nominated), Mohamed Chute (Marsabit), Joseph Kamau (Lamu) and Beatrice Oyomo (nominated).

The National Assembly will be represented by Makali Mulu (Kitui Central), Sabina Chege (nominated), John Mutunga (Tigania West), Daniel Epuyo (Turkana West), Francis Sigei (Sotik) and Ruth Odinga (Kisumu).

The Eala Elections Act 2011 provides that a new Assembly be elected 90 days before the expiry of the term of the subsisting assembly, meaning that the country is late in submitting names.

Only Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is a new member of the regional bloc and Assembly, are yet to submit the names of their representatives.

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), while moving the motion on the floor of the House, said as per the election rules, for each position that is available, the parties of the House should present three candidates.

The total number of representatives from Kenya is nine. The Minority side will have 12 candidates and the Majority, 15.

Campaign for posts

“Once the names have been listed, members will campaign and MPs are the voters for that matter. They will move around, share their ideas and speak on why they think they deserve to represent Kenya in Eala. As it is right now, the proposed date for elections is November 17, 2022. We do not want the previous experience where Kenya’s Parliament delayed the setting up of Eala,” said Cheruiyot.

Dr Oburu Oginga (Siaya), who once served as Eala MP, said it was his prayer that those chosen will not be like past legislators who have gone there and have largely not been heard of again.

“The only time we hear about Eala and EAC is when the Executive Arms of EAC governments are meeting in Nairobi, Arusha, or some other place. We never get to hear about Eala. I wonder, why. I appeal to those who will be selected this time round not to let us down. Do not go there and kill the East African Community. Let us hear debates and our views being expressed in Eala. Let us hear motions being moved and decisions being made through popular vote,” he said.

Interestingly, the Raila Odinga-led Orange party is said to be considering nominating Winnie Odinga—his last-born daughter —to Eala.

At the time of going to press, ODM Secretary Edwin Sifuna had not yet commented on whether the party would be nominating Winnie for the vetting.

Apart from Winnie, People Daily established that Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s son Kennedy Musyoka, former Baringo Senator and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, Jubilee secretary general Jeremiah Kioni, Kanu secretary general Nick Salat, a brother of the former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo (deceased), Jalang’o Midiwo and former Tiaty MP Asman Kamama are among those lined up for nomination.

Senate Majority Whip Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) urged the committee not to entertain the ‘bad habit’ of political party leaders picking their relatives and friends.

Rules establishing the committee say it considers the names and nomination papers of the candidates and addresses any complaint arising thereof.

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