Seven Kenya Kwanza MPs, senators who will take part in bipartisan talks

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale is among the seven lawmakers selected by Kenya Kwanza for bipartisan talks with Azimio. [File, Standard]

Kenya Kwanza Alliance on Tuesday, April 11 revealed seven lawmakers who will take part in bipartisan talks with their counterparts in the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition.

The seven are Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei, Nominated Senator Esther Okenyuri, Tharaka MP George Murugara, Kibwezi West MP Mwengi Mutuse, Eldas MP Adan Keynan and Taita Taveta Woman Representative Lydia Haika.

The names were revealed after the Kenya Kwanza legislators held a Parliamentary Group meeting at State House, Nairobi. President William Ruto, who is the leader of the alliance, chaired the PG meeting.

The lawmakers, who were fronted by Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya last Thursday, April 6, are Narok Senator Ledama Olekina, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo, Pokot South MP David Pkosing, Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo and Malindi MP Amina Mnyazi.

The 14 names of the lawmakers will be tabled in Parliament later Tuesday, April 11 and the plenary will debate to adopt all of them in an ad hoc committee.

The bipartisan team has been formed to consider changes to the IEBC selection panel, that would bring about a semblance of fairness in forming the team that picks the next IEBC commissioners.

Azimio la Umoja had argued that the agencies and representatives who front members to the selection panel are inclined more towards President William Ruto, hence an unfair advantage in the choosing of the next IEBC commissioners.

The current law on selection of IEBC commissioners stipulates that the Parliamentary Service Commission nominates one man and one woman to the selection panel; the Inter-Religious Council nominates two people; Public Service Commission (one), Political Parties Liaison Committee (one) and the Law Society of Kenya (one).

The IEBC selection panel is mandated to recruit new commissioners.

Currently, the electoral agency has no single commissioner in office after the resignations of Juliana Cherera, Justus Nyang'aya and Francis Wanderi.

The terms of chairperson Wafula Chebukati, and commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye ended in January 2023. Commissioner Irene Masit was removed from the electoral board through a tribunal that investigated her for gross misconduct.

The selection panel will, therefore, interview and recommend names of seven nominees, including the chairperson, to the president for appointment.