Raila, Kalonzo children sail through to EALA

Winnie Odinga when she was handed her EALA nomination certificate by the clerks of the National Assembly and the Senate. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka’s children, Winnie Odinga and Kennedy Musyoka, respectively, were on Thursday elected into the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) after close elections in the National Assembly and Senate.

The two are among nine of Kenya’s representatives to the Arusha-based Parliament, a list that also includes former lawmakers Kanini Kega, David Sankok and Hassan Omar, as well as businessman Suleiman Shahbal. Others are former Nandi Woman Rep Zipporah Kering’, Godfrey Maina and Falhada Dekow.

Musyoka secured the highest at 262, with Omar coming second at 253 and Winnie wrapping up the top three with 247 votes. Kering’ and Sankok tied at 223 votes against Maina’s 213. Maina was the surprise of the day, having been left out of President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance’s lineup, which only included Omar, Kering’, Sankok and Dekow, and former URP Secretary General Fred Muteti. Despite beating Dekow (174) in the overall vote, Muteti, who scored 189 votes, was dropped to satisfy gender requirements.

A nail-biter of an election saw Kenya Kwanza’s lineup sail through Senate, with Omar securing 46 votes against Falhada’s 43, Muteti’s 39, Kering’s 37 and Sankok’s 35.

From the Azimio One Kenya coalition, Musyoka headed for a second term at the Assembly, leading in votes in the National Assembly and Senate. He emerged top with 45 votes against Shahbal’s 38, Winnie’s 35 and Fatuma Gedi’s 31 at the Senate.

Musyoka would secure the highest votes at the National Assembly with 217, to beat Winnie (212), Kega (168), Shabhal (143), and Gedi (138). Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni was among the unsuccessful ones, numbering a paltry 18 votes.

Former Kieni MP Kega survived a scare in the Senate, where he came fifth in the Azimio race with 29 votes. Sources attribute Kega and Maina’s victory on alleged dissatisfaction from a section of Kenya Kwanza MPs from the Mt Kenya region.

Sources who sought anonymity said MPs from the Mt Kenya caucus were not impressed with President Ruto’s lineup as they felt they were left out, despite playing a significant role in the formation of Kenya Kwanza government.

Speaking to The Standard before the National Assembly vote, the MPs had vowed to defy the lineup to vote for “their own”, regardless of the coalition to which they belong. Kenya Kwanza’s lineup did not include a nominee from the Mt Kenya region.

“We will do anything to have one of us at Eala despite which political formation they are in,” said one MP.

Ahead of the polls, a section of Kenya Kwanza lawmakers had expressed reservations with Winnie and Musyoka’s nominations.

Owing to its majority status, Kenya Kwanza is entitled to five seats against Azimio’s four. Lawmakers were only allowed to vote for nine candidates (Kenya Kwanza’s five and Azimio’s four). Some 58 senators and 320 MPs participated in the vote.