MPs approve nomination of six for envoy jobs

The National Assembly has approved six names for ambassadorial jobs.

They are Purity Wakiuru Muhindi (Dakar, Senegal), Eliphas Mugendi Barine (Accra, Ghana), Halima Abdille Mohamud (Kuwait city, Kuwait),  Andrew Maina Kihurani  (Berne, Switzerland),  Jackline Lumumba Yong (Rome, Italy) and Lemarron Kaanto (Berlin, Germany).

Mwende Mwinzi had been nominated to be ambassador for South Korea, but questions were raised about her dual citizenship.

The National Assembly Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, which vetted the seven nominees  presented its report to the House recommending the appointment of the nominees but with a disclaimer on Mwinzi’s approval.

 Mwinzi holds both Kenyan and US citizenship.

During the grilling process, the House committee said Mwinzi should renounce her US citizenship and take up the job. 

But National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and  Shem Ochuodho, the chairman of the diaspora lobby protested the committee’s reservations, arguing that Mwinzi is a bona fide Kenyan.

The letter dismissed assertions that the nominee cannot take up her appointment because of dual citizenship. It says that while state officers are required to first renounce dual citizenship before taking charge, ambassadors do not fall under that category.

“We note that Article 16 grants dual citizens full rights of a citizen, except where qualified by the Constitution. While the Constitution restricts dual citizens from holding state offices, we are also alive to Article 260, which defines ‘state offices’, and they exclude diplomatic appointments,” the letter read.

The seven had been appointed by the President, which saw him   dropping the   name of the former Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr. Hassan Wario as ambassador in Vienna, Austria.