SECTIONS

Cabinet nominations to trigger 3 by-elections, Senate replacement

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale speaks during a past Kenya Kwanza Alliance event in Karen, Nairobi. [David Njaaga, Standard]

President William Ruto's decision to pluck lawmakers from Parliament to Cabinet will trigger by-elections in Elgeyo Marakwet County, and Garissa Township and Kandara constituencies, and the replacement of a nominated senator.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale, Kandara MP Alice Wahome and Nominated Senator Soipan Tuya are in the list of 22 nominees to Cabinet announced by the President at State House Nairobi, yesterday.

Mr Murkomen, who has been nominated as Cabinet Secretary of Roads, Transport and Public Works, was serving his third term as senator having first been elected in 2013. He served as Senate Majority Leader in 2017 before he was forced to quit during the Jubilee purge on Ruto allies.

The senator is a lawyer by profession and has been a staunch supporter of the President.

“My removal as Senate Majority Leader was done in bad faith. I did not blame then Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka for announcing the changes since he was acting under duress in which my position went to then West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio,” said Murkomen.

Duale, who has been nominated Defence Cabinet Secretary, was serving his fourth term as Garissa Township MP having been first elected in 2007 elections. He served as the National Assembly Majority Leader since 2013 before he was forced to quit in June 2020 during the Jubilee purge on Ruto allies.

The National Assembly Majority Leader position was given to former Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya. When he was kicked out as Majority Leader, Duale said former President Uhuru Kenyatta told him during a private meeting that he had delivered on his mandate but his loyalty was split between him (Uhuru) and Ruto and he had to make a choice.

“Being a Muslim, I told President Uhuru Kenyatta that I would not be involved in politics of deceit, betrayal and backstabbing and would not betray my friend President William Ruto, leading to me being kicked out from the Majority Leader position,” the MP said.

Ms Wahome, who has been nominated Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary, was serving her third term as Kandara MP having been first elected in 2013. She has been a supporter of both Uhuru and Ruto over the years.

The Kandara MP, who is a lawyer, was elected by female parliamentarians allied to UDA to chair the Inua Mama group whose main role was to empower women economically as they campaigned for Ruto to be President.

She was at one point mentioned as a possible running mate to Ruto from Mount Kenya region before Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua was picked.

“During our campaigns across the country I was very confident that William Ruto will be elected the fifth President of Kenya since the bottom-up agenda that he was selling to the people resonated well with the general populace,” said Ms Wahome.

Ms Soipan, who has been nominated Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, was recently sworn in as a nominated senator having served as Narok Woman Rep for two terms.

During her second term in Parliament, Soipan, who is a lawyer, served as chairperson of the Speakers Panel where the chosen few get an opportunity to chair House proceedings in the absence of the National Assembly Speaker and his Deputy.