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On Mwende Mwinzi’s appointment, I stand in solidarity with Duale and National Assembly

Editor’s Note: Our blogger today is Meshack Onditi. He hails the National Assembly for standing its ground by demanding that President Uhuru’s envoy appointee to South Korea Mwende Mwinzi renounce her US citizenship before she she’s allowed to take up the position.

The best thing that happened this week was to see the Kenyan Parliament and specifically the National Assembly assert its independence regarding Mwende Mwinzi’s appointment as Kenya’s envoy to South Korea.

It was therefore refreshing to see none other than the National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale publish a detailed statement on Twitter defending the common position taken by various National Assembly committees.

This is after Committees of National Assembly including Defence and Implementation okeyed Mwinzi’s appointment but maintained that the former columnist with Nation Newspaper must denounce her US citizenship before taking up the job of envoy.

That should have been easy but for some reasons Mwinzi refused to denounce her US citizenship and the matter is now in court as we speak.

This stand by Parliament is laudable. For a long time there has been a notion that MPs rarely adhere to the law and only care about personal interests.

What’s more, Duale in his statement cited Article 78 (2) of the Constitution which clearly stipulates that a State officer or a member of the defence forces shall not hold dual citizenship.

Even though envoys are public officers and the constitution does not expressly categorise them as State Officers, clause 52 of the Leadership and Integrity Act puts it clearer that public officers are also State Officers.

Clause 31 (2) of the Leadership and Integrity Act goes further stipulates that a person who holds dual citizenship shall, upon election or appointment to a state office, not take office before officially renouncing their other citizenship in accordance with the provisions of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act of 2011.

In the statement, Duale, who is also the Garissa Township MP decried efforts from some top ranking members of the Executive to push for Mwinzi’s deployment without her denouncing the US citizenship.

The quarters have now brought a red herring that at EACC should investigate at least 10 MPs on claims of having dual citizenship!

EACC must resist falling into the scheme of those trying to protect Mwinzi from renouncing her citizenship by alleging it is investigating others while not focusing on the matter at hand.

The timing of the claims is suspect and seems like a ploy to arm-twist and intimidate the National Assembly from making independent decisions.

Also, while Mwinzi must be accorded her constitutional right to get final opinion in court, we must as a country not forget that there are many Kenyans who are qualified to take up the position.

Opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the writer and do not necessarily represent the position of We welcome writers and bloggers to contribute on this section. Send your opinion to [email protected]

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