Kenya: Acid Test for President Ruto, Odinga, in Filling Nine EALA Slots

Nairobi — Winnie Odinga is among 96 applicants from the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance jostling for the nine slots in the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA).

The 31-year-old has previously denied claims that she is interested in EALA but records before the joint committee on the Arusha based assembly symbolize otherwise.

In the nine EALA seats, five slots belong to the Kenya Kwanza Alliance while four to Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance.

A majority of the leaders who are lobbying for the four slots belonging to Azimio from the ODM party include businessman Suleiman Shabal who pulled out from the Mombasa Governor race in August 9 election.

Former Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire and his counterpart from Wajir South Abdullahi Diriye, Josiah Kores and Amb Richard Ekai are among leaders seeking the slots from Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

KANU party leader Gideon Moi is also interested in clinching the EALA seat having lost the Baringo senatorial seat.

It will be a highly contested race for the seat as his secretary general Nick Salat is also pushing to be among the four from Azimio La Umoja to sit in the EALA assembly.

Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka has fronted his son Kennedy for the slot.He served in EALA,’s 4th assembly from 2017-2022 and this will be his quest to seek a second term.

From the Jubilee, with secretary general Jeremiah Kioni and the Director of Election Kanini Kega eyeing the EALA slots, a push and pull within the party imminent.

Former MPs Naomi Shaban (Taveta), Peter Mwathi (Limuru), Maison Leshomo (Samburu Woman Representative) and Fatuma Gedi (Wajir County) are also jostling for the position.

Others include Jude Njomo (Kiambaa), former Kajiado Senator Peter Mositet), Bonface Gatobu (Maara), John Mututho (Naivasha) and Ruth Mwaniki (Kigumo).

The President William Ruto- led coalition have five slots to fill to the regional legislative assembly.

Among notable names who applied for the slots include former Laikipia County Woman Represantative Catherine Waruguru, former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar Hassan, former Elgeyo Marakwet Woman Representative Jane Chebaibai, Falhad Iman and Anne Too among others.

Out of the 287 applicants who qualified for the EALA seats,97 were from the Raila Odinga- led coalition while 145 were from Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

The nominations of candidates eyeing the nine slots are set to commence on Wednesday.

A total of 345 applications were forwarded to the Clerk of the National Assembly Samuel Njoroge and his counterpart from the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye.

On Wednesday during the joint committee sitting, political parties will be required to nominate persons for election to EALA and submit the names of the nominees to the presiding officers.

A total of 27 nominees, 15 from the Kenya Kwanza Alliance side and 12 from Azimio are battling it out for the nine slots that Kenya has been allocated for representation in the Arusha-based regional assembly.

The proposed 27 names by the political parties will be subjected to a vote taken on 17th November by the two Houses to pick nine that will represent the country in the regional assembly.

The regional Parliament was established under Article 9 of the East African Treaty.Each member state is required to send nine MPs.

Kenya is rushing against time to second its members to the regional assembly ahead of the inauguration of the new session on December 17.

According to the EALA Act, 2011, Kenya and the other five member states of the East African Community are entitled to nine slots.

All the EAC countries, except Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo, have already elected their representatives.

The EALA membership currently stands at 62, with nine elected members from each of the six East African Community (EAC) partner states Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi — and eight ex-officio members.

EALA is an independent arm of EAC that advances the interest of the bloc, besides providing oversight.

Currently, those representing Kenya include former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua and Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s elder brother, Oburu Oginga (currently Siaya Senator).

Others in the outgoing EALA team are Kennedy Musyoka, who is Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s son, and Wanjiku Muhia, who this year won the Kipipiri MP seat after ousting former leader of Majority Amos Kimunya.

Others are Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi, who recaptured the seat he lost in 2017 election, former-Wajir Woman Rep Fatuma Ali, former Mbalambala MP Omar Abdikadir and Jematiah Florence (Baringo Woman Rep).

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