In Summary
  • The seven Mwende Mwinzi (Seoul, South Korea), Kariuki Mugwe (Abu Dhabi), Peter Angore (Algiers, Algeria), Flora Karugu (Lusaka, Zambia), Michael Mubea (Dublin- Ireland), Diana Kiambuthi (Stockholm, Sweden) and Njambi Kinyungu (Un-Habitat).
  • The nomination of Ms Mwinzi, who has dual citizenship (Kenya and US), drew the most attention while the other nominees sailed through without being mentioned by members.
  • The report by the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, that was tabled in the House on Tuesday, recommended that Ms Mwinzi choose between her US citizenship and the Kenyan job.
  • Envoys fall in the category of public officers, whom article 52 of the Act also categorises as state officers. The law says they must not hold dual citizenship.

A heated debate in the National Assembly on Thursday culminated in the approval of seven individuals nominated as ambassadors, paving the way for their formal appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

They are Mwende Mwinzi (Seoul, South Korea), Kariuki Mugwe (Abu Dhabi), Peter Angore (Algiers, Algeria), Flora Karugu (Lusaka, Zambia), Michael Mubea (Dublin- Ireland), Diana Kiambuthi (Stockholm, Sweden) and Njambi Kinyungu (Un-Habitat).

The nomination of Ms Mwinzi, who has dual citizenship (Kenya and US), drew the most attention while the other nominees sailed through without being mentioned by members.

RESOLUTION

Prior to the debate and while quoting the ruling of the Court of Appeal, lawmakers guided by Speaker Justin Muturi resolved that a public officer is also a state officer and must never hold dual citizenship.

Upon appointment, an individual must renounce their second citizenship before taking up the job.

Ms Mwinzi thus has to renounce her US citizenship after formal appointment so that she does not break the law.

'CONSEQUENCES'

The report by the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, that was tabled in the House on Tuesday, recommended that Ms Mwinzi choose between her US citizenship and the Kenyan job.

Committee chair Katoo Ole Metito (Kajiado South) said, “Dual citizenship has consequences. We are not saying she cannot take up the position as an ambassador. We are saying she can renounce the position if the House approves her name."

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