Woman takes over powerful Defence docket

Last updated on 26 Apr 2013 00:00

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BY CYRUS OMBATI

Former ambassador Raychelle Omamo becomes the first woman to be nominated to the powerful office of Defence Secretary.

The docket is taken to be powerful as she will be indirectly in charge of the military in the country.

Kenya’s military is currently involved in an African Union Mission in Somalia in efforts to contain the spread of Al-Shabaab militants.

If approved by the National Assembly, Ms Omamo, a Senior Counsel and also a former Law Society of Kenya Chairperson will take up the docket formerly occupied by Yusuf Haji.

Her appointment is seen by many as political to appease Luo Nyanza. Her father Odongo Omamo was one of the local politicians who were used by the Jomo Kenyatta administration to contain Jaramogi Odinga’s opposition at large and in particular Luo Nyanza.

Ms Omamo was the First Woman Chairperson of LSK and First woman Ambassador of Kenya to France, Portugal, The Holy See and the Republic of Serbia and Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Kenya to UNESCO.

President Uhuru said Ms Omamo has made substantial contributions towards the advancement of the rule of law in Kenya and to the development of legislation and policy

He cited her membership to the Task Force on the Establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Kenya, Review of Landlord and Tenant Legislation an her being Assisting Counsel to the Ndung’u Commission.

“She was the Jurist of the Year 2002.  She studied Law at the University of Kent at Canterbury in the UK,” said Uhuru.

He explained he allocated Omamo the ministry perceived as tough to a woman because his Government wants to ensure that both men and women get equal opportunity.

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