NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 25 – Kenya’s immediate former ambassador to France Raychelle Omamo has been nominated to the powerful office of Defence Secretary.
If approved by the National Assembly, Omamo, a Senior Counsel and a former Law Society of Kenya Chairperson will take up the docket formerly occupied by Yusuf Hajji and be in charge of Kenya’s Defence Forces.
“Omamo has made substantial contribution to advancement to the rule of law in Kenya and to the development of legislation and policy.
For example she was a member of the task force for the establishment of Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, a member of taskforce on the Review of Landlord and Tenant legislation as well as Assisting Counsel to the Ndung’u Land Commission,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in his citation for her nomination.
The 27-year veteran advocate of the High Court of Kenya is set to become the region’s first woman in charge of defence.
She said that she was ready and dedicated to defend Kenya.
“I thank you for this great privilege and honour to serve the country. It is an enormous privilege; it is a huge task. I look forward to working with you and with the rest of the Cabinet in defending Kenya and our borders,” she pledged.
Kenyatta explained that he allocated Omamo the ministry perceived as tough to a woman because his government wants to ensure that both men and women get equal opportunities.
He said Omamo has rich experience to lead the Defence Ministry.
“We are a nation of equal opportunities. We will ensure equal opportunities for all. She has wide experience in many areas. That experience she brings especially in our defence is responsible for engagements with the rest of the world,” he explained.
Kenyatta explained that his government will not separate youth and women by having special dockets for them but will require their issues represented in all the ministries.
He said it will be his responsibility to ensure that gender and youth are not locked out in all the ministries.
“Many think we should have created specific ministries for youth and gender. But my objective is not to squirrel youth into a ministry or women to a ministry. The first task we shall set once parliament vets them is to ensure that each comes up with a clear distinct programme on how women and young people will be mainstreamed in the ministries,” he pledged.
In the former government there was a separate ministry for Youth and Gender but still women and young people felt under-represented.