A Parliament of Relatives

*By Concerned Comrade John Gwambo*

The Kenyan Parliament as it’s currently constituted is made of two houses; the National Assembly which has 290 elected members plus 47 elected women representatives and the senate that has 47 elected senators. Out of these elected 384 Members of Parliament in the August house, 10 of them are relatives ranging from blood brothers, a brother and a sister, step-brothers, mother and son-in -law to individuals who have married from the same family.

For instance, the Mois are serving their second terms respectively as siblings in parliament. Raymond Kipruto Moi is the Member of Parliament from Rongai constituency in Nakuru county while his younger brother Gideon Moi is the senator for the neighboring Baringo county. Both are KANU Members of Parliament.

Another pair equally on their second terms are the Wetangula brothers, Bungoma Senator Moses Masika Wetangula is a blood brother to Westland’s Member of Parliament Tim Wanyonyi even though the latter is an ODM member Wetangula is a FORD Kenya Member.

Also serving their second terms respectively are the Kajwangs from the ODM party. Tom Kajwang’ is the Ruaraka law maker in Nairobi county while his step- brother Moses is the Homabay county Senator who succeeded their late brother Gerald Otieno Kajwang’ following his death in November 2014.

Kitui Senator Enock Wambua is a brother to Kitui West Member of Parliament Judith Nyenze who was elected to parliament through a by-election following the demise of her husband Francis Nyenze.

But it is in the National Assembly where you will find an interesting pair. Bomet East lawmaker Beatrice Cherono Kones wife to former cabinet minister Kipkalya Kones is a mother-in-law to the vocal Belgut Member of Parliament Nelson Koech. Both mother and son-in-law were elected on a jubilee ticket and they are from the neighboring counties of Bomet and Kericho respectively. But they are not alone, Kipkelion lawmaker Hillary Kiplang’at Kosgei of Jubilee Party and his Kasipul counterpart Charles Ong’ondo Were of ODM party have married from the same home but pledge their allegiance to different political outfits and interestingly they both serve in the same departmental committee on Environment.

These combinations are however not anything new. In the 7th Parliament there was a similar pair of relatives. Jaramogi Oging’a Odinga and his son Raila Odinga were both elected to parliament in the December 1992 general election on FORD-Kenya ticket for the Bondo and Kibera constituencies respectively. When senior Odinga passed away in 1994, his son Dr. Oburu was elected through a by-election bringing in a new picture of blood brothers in parliament.

At the same time the late Martin Shikuku of Butere was a brother to Nakuru Member of Parliament Lwale Oyondi. In the 8th and 9th Parliaments, firebrand Kamkunji’s Member of Parliament Norman Nyagah was a brother to Gashoka’s Joe Nyagah. While their father had retired from active politics in 1992 as a KANU bigwig, it was his son Norman Nyagah who inherited the Gashokas’ Parliamentary seat on a DP ticket in 1992. As he prepared to defend his seat in 1997 his elder brother Joe Nyagah was eying the same seat but on a KANU ticket. Blood brothers were going for each other’s neck, but to avert the looming fallout within the family and Ambeere community at large, the younger Nyagah was forced to abandon the Gashoka race in favor of his elder brother switching to Nairobi’s Kamukunji constituency which he won easily.

Come January 1998 when the 8th Parliament was sworn in, Joe Nyagah was a KANU MP and a cabinet minister while his brother Norman was the DP’s chief whip in the harsh critic of the same government that his elder brother was serving in as a minister. In the 9th and 10th Parliaments, KANU’s Uhuru Kenyatta from Gatundu South was the first cousin to the then Dagoreti South Lawmaker Beth Mugo from DP. The 10th Parliament also had two members, Lang’ata’s Raila Odinga and Suna West’s John Pesa who had married from the same home with Odinga’s elder brother Dr. Oburu Odinga in the same house as well as their cousin and former Gem Member of Parliament, Jakoyo Midiwo.

In the 11th Parliament the sons of the late paramount chief Lorienka Ntutu were also in the mix. Stephen Ntutu served as Narok’s senator while his younger brother Patrick Ntutu was a Member of Parliament for Narok West Constituency.

Read other articles by John Gwambo:

1. Obado the Lone Ranger. Click here to read.

2. A President Under Siege. Click here to read.

3. Just Who was Tom Mboya? Click here to read.

Discover more articles on DekuTrends:

1. Men are Trash – or Cash or Treasure. Click here to read.

2. DeKUT Influencer of the Week – Victor Karanja. Click here to read.

3. A Thousand Not So Splendid Suns. Click here to read.

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