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VAS

Battle for EALA slots takes shape as application process closes

POLITICS
By Geoffrey Mosoku and Daniel Psirmoi | November 24th 2017
Senators James Orengo (Siaya, left) and Oburu Odinga (nominated). [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Regional and ethnic representation as well as gender balance will largely influence the appointment of Kenya’s next batch of representatives at the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA).

Ruling party Jubilee and the Opposition’s National Super Alliance (NASA) are keen to reward their loyalists; some former lawmakers are among those to be considered to join the Arusha-based regional parliament.

Former nominated MP Oburu Oginga, who is NASA chief Raila Odinga’s older brother, was among high-profile individuals who returned their nomination forms to the Clerk of the National Assembly.

Former MPs Rachel Shebesh (Nairobi), Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika Town), Moses ole Sakuda (Kajiado West), Wanjiku Muhia (Nyandarua), Florence Kajuju (Meru), Hellen Sambili (Mogotio) and Zipporah Kering also handed in their documents.

By close of business Thursday, the deadline for submission of the forms, more than 240 applicants had returned their papers.

Others interested

Others interested in joining EALA are Jubilee official Florence Sergon, Kenya Film Classification Board Director Jackson Kosgei and former Bomet Senate aspirant Stacey Chepkemoi. Also, former MPs Simon Mbugua (Kamukunji), Danson Mungatana (Garsen) and Kalembe Ndile (Kibwezi).

Although the parties will individuality pick their representatives, parliamentary leadership is said to be trying to ensure that each of the former eight regions (formerly provinces) has a representative.

For Jubilee’s five slots, three men and two women will be nominated.

The ruling party asked NASA to consider nominating at least one women to meet the gender threshold in line with the Constitution.

Some positions may also go to loyalists who were convinced to step down in favour of their rivals, such as in Nairobi, where Mr Mbugua and Maina Kamanda were asked by the head of state to step down.

Mr Kamanda, who was vying for the Starehe parliamentary seat, has since been rewarded through a nomination to the National Assembly while Mbugua, who stepped down in favour of Yusuf Hassan in Kamukunji, was assured of an EALA post. 

Those perceived as front runners include Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s son Kennedy Musyoka and Oburu (ODM).

Jubilee also wants to reward Kisii region with one slot.

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