Four out of six of Kenya’s nominees to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) won various elective parliamentary seats in the just concluded polls in Kenya that was held on August 9.
EALA legislators Oburu Odinga, Florence Jematia, Wanjiku Muhia, Mpuru Aburi, Simeon Mbugua and Abdikadir Adensought elective positions in the Kenya general election, with Mbugua and Aden losing in the polls.
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Dr Oburu Oginga, who is the elder brother of Azimio Presidential candidate Raila Odinga, is now Senator-elect of Siaya County, western Kenya, on the Orange Democratic Movement party.
It was a landslide for Mr Oburu in his quest to be a senator after garnering 285,595 votes, beating his closest competitor Julius Okinda who came second with 33,898 votes.
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Ms Jematia also made it to the Kenyan parliament after trouncing the incumbent Gladwell Cheruiyot in the race for Baringo woman representative.
Ms Jematia garnered 144,239 votes against Ms Cheruiyot’s 40,302.
Ms Rebecca Lomong of Kenya Union Party was third with 25,129 followed by Sarah Kipkogei of Chama Cha Mashinani (4,605) and Naomi Torono (Labour Party) with 2,523 votes.
For Ms Muhia, it was not only a win, but she also made history becoming the first woman to be elected Kipipiri MP. In addition, she also floored Amos Kimunya, the immediate former National Assembly majority leader, who was considered a favourite and well-endowed financially.
Ms Muhia, who vied on the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket, garnered 15,196 while Kimunya came in second with 7,295 votes.
Former Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi who got the nod of 208 MPs to be in EALA in 2017 after losing his MP seat in that year’s election, is also back in the National Assembly.
Mr Mbugua, who vied on a UDA ticket, was floored in his quest to become the MP for Starehe constituency.
The seat was won by Jubilee Party’s Amos Mwago who bagged 50,787 votes, with Mr Mbugua coming second with 35,548 votes.
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Mr Aden came a distant seventh in his quest to reclaim the Balambala MP seat that he lost in 2017. Mr Abdi Shuriye, who beat him in 2017, has retained the seat.
Moi University Political Science lecturer, Dr Masibo Lumala, says EALA has no clout like the National Assembly hence more people would rather be elected in their own country than go to the regional assembly.
He added that there is better remuneration perks in Kenya’s National Assembly that is driving back home EALA legislators.
In addition, National Assembly members in Kenya have more influence in terms of policies and even who to employ as compared to their colleagues.
“In EALA, they are merely dealing with policies which do not affect [the people directly], as compared to local assemblies where MPs are debating issues that directly affect the people,” Dr Lumala.