Lobbying For EALA Slots Among Political Parties In Top Gear

Political party leaders are in a catch-22 situation over the nomination of members to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). According to EALA’s calendar, those elected to represent their respective countries should be in Arusha by 20th December 2022 as the current term ends on 17th December 2022.

Major party leaders find themselves in a dilemma due to promises made to their allies who lost in the August elections. While some politicians were promised nomination to EALA in public, sources say some politicians had secret arrangements with their respective party leaders.

Kenya has nine slots which are to be shared among parliamentary parties according to their parliamentary strength. Kenya Kwanza Coalition, therefore, qualifies for 5 slots while Azimio Coalition has 4 slots. The slots are to be shared among coalition partners.

Going by the number of slots available, ODM is likely to take one slot, and Wiper, Jubilee and Kanu one each.  President William Ruto during his campaigns publicly promised former Starehe MP Charles Kanyi aka Jaguar if he stepped down for then EALA MP Simon Mbugua to fly the UDA flag for Starehe parliamentary seat. Although at one time Jaguar refused the offer and vowed to run as an independent candidate, he was to later accept the offer.

Mbugua was however trounced by Jubilee’s Amos Mwango who garnered 50,787 votes against Mbugua’s 35,548 votes. Last month, word spread like bushfire that ODM leader Raila Odinga had nominated his daughter Winnie Odinga to EALA. However, Winnie came out publicly to deny that she was eyeing the seat. In the current parliament, Raila nominated his elder brother Oburu Odinga to EALA. He has since resigned and was elected Siaya senator.

Sources further divulged that the larger Odinga family could be considering nominating Jalang’o Midiwo who is the brother to former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo. Jalongo is a cousin to Raila and is said to be very close to Mama Ida Odinga. Another name being whispered is that of ODM treasurer Timothy Bosire. Sources say Jubilee is likely to nominate its secretary general Jeremiah Kioni to EALA.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka is most likely to give his son Kennedy Musyoka a second term. His nomination however elicited mixed reactions in the political arena with MPs then allied to Jubilee terming it as a move to export a political dynasty to EALA. Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat has also come out to demand that the Jogoo party should be given a slot and that he is the one to take up the space.

Sources within Azimio Coalition divulged that Salat, already lobbying Azimio principals Raila Odinga, his running mate Martha Karua, former President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kalonzo and Kanu boss Gideon Moi to have him nominated.

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