US citizenship or the job? Tough choice for Uhuru’s appointee

Ms Mwende Mwinzi, who has all but passed the parliamentary vetting for the position of Kenya’s High Commissioner to Seoul, South Korea, now faces a tough choice: To renounce her US citizenship and take up the job, or forget about the prestigious appointment.

Section 31 (1) of the Leadership and Integrity Act provides that a State officer who acquires dual citizenship shall lose the position. Subsection two says 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.

Set precedent

Yesterday, the National Assembly Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, which vetted seven nominees last week, presented its report to the House recommending the appointment of the nominees but with a disclaimer on Ms Mwinzi’s approval.

“The committee recommends that Ms Mwinzi be appointed subject to renouncing her US citizenship,” said the committee chairman, Mr Katoo Ole Metito (Kajiado South MP).

The House is expected to vote on the report tomorrow, either approving or rejecting it. If approved, the names will be taken to the President for formal appointment.

During the vetting last week, Mr Metito said that the matter of Ms Mwinzi would set a precedent after she admitted that she was also a US citizen. Ms Mwinzi told the team she had no powers to choose where to be born.

“I was born in the US but I belong to Kenya. You can choose where to belong but you cannot choose where to be born,” Ms Mwinzi said.

Also recommended for appointment is Mr Michael Mubea (Dublin- Ireland). The others are Mr Kariuki Mugwe (Abu Dhabi), Mr Peter Angore (Algiers, Algeria), Ms Flora Karugu (Lusaka, Zambia), Ms Diana Kiambuthi (Stockholm, Sweden) and Ms Njambi Kinyungu (Un-Habitat).

Source:David Mwere Daily Nation

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