Despite the controversy that has hit the nomination of 20 people for election into Kenya’s nine slots in the East Africa Legislative Assembly, one man is happy as he is one step closer to a long-held dream to take his message to the region.
Second on the list of Jubilee Party’s nominees was Dr Joe Muriithi Muriuki.
He is easier to recognise as Joe Muriuki, the name that in the late 80s and the early 90s became synonymous with HIV as its bearer shrugged off the stigma that was associated with the virus and declared his positive status to the nation.
Muriuki’s life has changed since then.
He left his job at the Nairobi City Council, moved back home to Nyeri for a while and then became one of the Kenya’s foremost advocates for treatment for HIV.
Today, he is a lecturer and is collecting data for his PhD in Public Health under Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
He has left his teaching post as he pursues election by MPs to represent Kenya at the Arusha-based regional assembly.
“I felt that people living with HIV and Aids needed a voice in EALA,” he told the Nation.
“I put it in my application that I will represent a marginalised population and provide a balance in the assembly.”
He also cited his experience interacting with EALA over 10 years in the formulation of the East African HIV and Aids Management Act.
He was a member of the regional task force that worked on the law.
Muriuki realized during this time, and later in his six years at the HIV Equity Tribunal in Kenya, that there is a need for countries in the region to coordinate and work together in the management of the disease.
For now, he has joined the rest of the nominees in lobbying to be successful at the elections in two weeks’ time.
There are five Cord nominees for the four slots the Opposition has been allocated, meaning only one will lose, but five for the 15 selected by the Jubilee Party.
The others on Jubilee’s list are: Mutea Iringo, Charles Onsongo Mochama, Eunice Wanjiru Karanja, Abubakar Ogle, Adan Mohammed Nooru, Simon Mbugua, Irene Cherop Masit, Justin Bundi, Nelson Dzuya, Canon Naomi Jillo Waqo, Chepkemoi Saida Stacey, Florence Jematia Sergon, Justus Mate and Pius Atok Ewoton.
Lobbying has already begun, with the nominees reaching out to MPs and their leaders in the House and parading their credentials, experience as well as political loyalty.
Mr Iringo is a former Principal Secretary and lost in the Jubilee Party nomination in Imenti North.
He is banking on his experience and technical ability arising from his education and experience in government.
He has a Masters in International Studies from the University of Nairobi, with his thesis being on the challenges of multiple membership on EAC regional integration.
The former PS also used to lead Kenyan delegations to international meetings on security and border-related matters as a secretary, senior deputy secretary and then Principal Secretaries at the Interior and then Defence ministries.
Mr Mbugua, the former Kamukunji MP, was in Parliament on Thursday, using the privilege enjoyed by former MPs to freely access the precincts to sit and talk with his former colleagues.
He is believed to have been rewarded for agreeing to leave the Jubilee Party ticket for Kamukunji to the incumbent, Yusuf Hassan.
Notably, President Kenyatta’s private secretary, Jomo Gecaga, coordinated the press conference at which Mr Mbugua announced that he had given up his bid.
Former National Assembly Clerk Justin Bundi could be among those whom MPs will back going by statements by Majority Leader Aden Duale on the day he retired.
“As a House, we are aware that Mr Bundi is strong and willing to serve in any other legislative service. This House may be called upon to rise to the occasion to support such endeavours on behalf of the outgoing Clerk,” Mr Duale said on March 21.
Embu County Assembly Speaker Justus Kariuki Mate was also in Parliament on Thursday.
A shrewd politician, Mr Mate is understood to have been told to talk to the MPs as the leadership had only set its mind on Mr Bundi and Mr Mbugua’s slot was guaranteed.
Regional and gender balance are also likely to factor, meaning at least one of the five women has to be elected.
The elections will be an interesting affair as the lawmakers in both Houses will be given one ballot paper to elect nine individuals.
Source link : http://allafrica.com/stories/201705170014.html
Publish date : 17 May 2017 | 5:15 am