Azimio retreats to plot for leadership positions in Parliament and Senate


Members of Parliament take oath of office at the National Assembly on September 8, 2022. 

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Nominated MP John Mbadi has said he will be going for nothing less of the leadership position in the National Assembly.
  • Although the Azimio coalition has 185 MPs in the National Assembly, a number have since shifted allegiance to Kenya Kwanza.

Mr Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja coalition is headed for a retreat this weekend to share the leadership positions in the National Assembly and Senate as the 13th parliament prepares for business after the August 2022 General Election.

The two-day retreat at Stoni Athi Resort in Machakos County comes as the lobbying for the leadership positions in the two Houses and membership in the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) intensify.

On Wednesday, nominated MP John Mbadi was unequivocal that he will be going for nothing less of the leadership position in the National Assembly with MPs Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) and Junet Mohamed (Suna East) also expressing their interest for the position.

“I believe I have the requisite experience to lead my coalition in the House,” said Mr Mbadi adding; “If anyone thinks I will be easily convinced to leave the position for somebody else, then they are lying to themselves.”

Mr Mbadi is currently doing his fourth term in the House having been first elected as Suba MP in 2007 before the constituency's name was changed to Suba South. Mr Mbadi, an accountant, was the leader of the minority in the 12th parliament.

Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu (Wiper) is set to deputize Mr Mbadi with the whip and deputy whip position going to the Jubilee and Democratic Alliance Party of Kenya (DAP-K).

PSC, a 10-member-commission chaired by the National Assembly Speaker, is a mix of membership from the National Assembly and Senate and has nine slots up for grabs.

Uhuru Kenyatta's support

Article 127 that establishes the PSC, stipulates that of the 10 positions, two must go to members who are not elected or nominated as members of the National Assembly or Senate.

The party that has a majority in parliament is allocated four members with the minority party getting three slots. Sirisia MP John Waluke is among MPs from Azimio pushing for their nomination to the commission that is in charge of the welfare of MPs and the parliamentary staff.

Mr Waluke boasts of having the support of former President Uhuru Kenyatta, who chairs the Azimio council and Mr Odinga, the Azimio’s presidential candidate in the August 9, 2022 General Election.

“I am lobbying across the board for a membership position in the PSC,” said Mr Waluke, now in his third term in parliament.

“I have already reached out to the former President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga and they have all assured me of their support. I have also met the Speaker of the National Assembly, who has supported my bid including 24 MPs from Western Kenya,” the Sirisia MP said.  

Former Bungoma Senator Mr Moses Wetang’ula is the Speaker of the National Assembly.

Among the MPs from Western Kenya that Mr Waluke claims to support his bid are Mr Nabii Nabwera (Lugari), and the secretary of the caucus, Mr Caleb Amisi (Saboti), Patrick Simiyu (Cherangany), Maurice Kakai (Kiminini) and Jack Wamboka (Bumula).

Shifted allegiance

Although the Azimio coalition has 185 MPs in the National Assembly as per the coalition agreement signed and deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties (RPP) Anne Nderitu, a number have since shifted allegiance to Kenya Kwanza that originally had 152.

The shift has given Kenya Kwanza a numerical strength of 179 MPs against Azimio’s 170. Azimio was made up of 26 political parties among them ODM, Jubilee, Wiper and Democratic Alliance Party of Kenya (DAP-K).

However, UDM with six MPs in the National Assembly and two Senators, Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) that has one MP, Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) with three MPs and Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) that has two MPs, have since shifted to Kenya Kwanza.

In the Senate, Azimio with 30 Senators, is the second largest party after the Kenya Kwanza coalition that has 36 Senators plus the independent Senator.

This means that Azimio will is only likely bag the minority leadership with the majority leadership going to Kenya Kwanza.

Isiolo Senator Ms Fatuma Dullo (Jubilee) is primed for the minority leadership with Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’ (ODM) as her deputy.

The minority whip and deputy will go to Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina (ODM) and his Machakos colleague Agnes Kavindu (Wiper) respectively.