, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – Nineteen nominees were on Friday shortlisted to vie for the nine East Africa Legislative Assembly EALA) member slots allocated to Kenya.
The National Assembly has reduced the number from the initial 117 ahead of an election to be held in Parliament on Thursday.
The Clerk of the National Assembly Patrick Gichohi said they rejected an application by KANU’s Duncan Masai and Chomba Munyi after they failed to submit sworn affidavits showing their proficiency in Kiswahili and English.
“The candidates have until tomorrow (Saturday) at 4 O’clock; in the event that they change their minds and wish to withdraw they can give the letters to that effect. After that we shall go ahead and prepare the ballot papers,” said Gichohi, who is the Returning Officer in the process.
On the PNU coalition side, the nominees are Sarah Godana (KANU), Charles Loioto (Ford Kenya), Saoli Ole Nkanae (PNU) and Mohamed Sheikh (Democratic Party).
The Wiper Democratic Movement has selected Peter Mutuku, Abubakar Ahmed Talib and Jennifer Masis.
Narc-Kenya nominees are Twahida Juma, Abubakar Abdi Ogle and Catherine Ngima Kimura.
ODM has nominated former MPs Peter Odoyo, Joseph Kiangoi and Immanuel Imana, a former commissioner with the defunct Constitution of Kenya Review Commission Abubakar Zein and former civic leaders Mumbi Ng’aru, Junet Nuh Mohamed and Ronald Ngeny.
Judith Ramaita and Nancy Kabeyeka are the ODM nominees.
Imana was the MP for Turkana Central between 1993 and 1997 while Odoyo and Kiangoi represented Nyakach and North Mugirango Constituencies respectively between 2002 and 2007.
Mohamed and Ngeny were forced to resign from their seats in the Migori and Bomet County Councils before they could qualify to be nominated as members of the regional parliament.
The nomination rules bar interested applicants from being public officers in their home country since the will be mainly based in Arusha.
The same plight fell on Zein Abubakar who sat on two parastatals boards namely Kenya Cultural Centre and New Africa Partnership.
Kanu’s Masai was declared time barred after was late to provide a certified letter confirming he was no longer a lecturer at the Kenyatta University.
The party whips had until 4pm on Friday to ensure that all their nominees’ applications are validated.
Gichohi said the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations and Defence will vet the nominees on Wednesday before the House votes on Thursday.
“We do expect the House to conduct the election for the candidates on Thursday May 31, being the last day available to us and as soon as the House concludes that process we shall expect to take the names to Arusha where they will be expected to join the candidates from the other partner states,” he added.
“The nominees to the third EALA are set to be inaugurated on June 5, a day after the five-year term expiry of the current members,” added Gichohi.
Joint Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo says he and Co-Whip Johnson Muthama have ensured the nominees represent the face of Kenya.
The positions attracted a record 117 candidates with ODM having 65 while 47 applicants were from PNU.
The parties must submit a record of minutes of their nominations when they return their nominees to Parliament next Friday.
The public will be allowed to inspect the nominee’s forms at Parliament’s County Hall on May 28 and May 29.
Thereafter the names will be forwarded to the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations for vetting on May 30.
The whole House will approve the names on May 31 after the parliamentary committee completes the vetting process.
The National Assembly invited applications from interested persons for the positions of Member of EALA to replace MPs whose term will expire on June 4.
The new rules passed by the member states only last month, require political parties to take into account the need for fair representation of the various political parties in the National Assembly, regional balance, shades of opinion, gender and other special interest groups in Kenya and shall ensure that at least one third of its nominees are women.
In March, National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende asked MPs to adhere to the East African Community Treaty while nominating members to the Assembly.
The Speaker said it was necessary the rules were adhered to avoid court tussles that saw Kenyan nominees contested at the East African Court of Justice and which was ruled in their favour. The case cost the taxpayer Sh350 million.
The East African Legislative Assembly is an organ of the East African Community; established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
Under the Treaty, the Assembly has a membership comprising nine members elected by each Partner State; ex-officio members consisting of the Minister or Assistant Minister responsible for the East African Community Affairs from each Partner State; the Secretary General and the Counsel to the Community. Currently, the Assembly has 45 elected Members; and seven ex-officio Members totalling to a Membership of 52. Twenty of them are female.