5 December 2017

Kenya: HIV Positive Nominee to Champion Cause in Regional Assembly

Nairobi — A university lecturer and a Jubilee nominee to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) who has been living with HIV/AIDS for 33 years has said once selected to the Arusha-based regional assembly he will be voice of those living with the virus.

In a country where many of those living with the virus continue to be stigmatised, Joe Muriithi Muriuki, a lecturer of Epidemiology at the Mount Kenya University says he will take the HIV/AIDS campaign to EALA if his nomination is given a nod by the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee.

Muriuki was among the first people to declare his HIV positive status to the nation back in the early 90s.

On Tuesday, the man who is eyeing the EALA job for the second time was seen canvassing in Parliament in a bid to woo the lawmakers to back his candidature ahead of the elections in a week's time.

"Once selected, I will lobby for increased representation of special interest groups including women living with HIV across the six member states," Muriuki told Capital FM News Tuesday during an interview.

Muriuki prides himself for serving in the East African Task Force that spearheaded the formulation of the East Africa HIV/AIDS Management Act under EALA General Purpose Committee on Health and believes that if given the opportunity to serve he will be able to take the HIV/AIDS campaign to another level.

Muriuki has since resigned from his job, a requirement for one who is interested to serve in EALA, in the hope that he will be considered by the lawmakers.

"I will be able to canvass for sustainable access to lifesaving HIV treatment within the member states including cross border harmonisation of regiment that meets the special needs of those living with the virus especially women and children," said Muriuki.

Muriuki's bid has been recommended by Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiha, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and a few HIV/AIDS Organizations including the Coalition of HIV infected and Affected Community Service Organization of Kenya (CHIACSOK), International Community of Women Living with HIV and Network of African People Living with HIV in Eastern Africa Region.

The Jubilee Party has five slots while the National Super Alliance (NASA) has four.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and his Senate counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen presented a list of 15 names before both Clerks of Parliament who are the presiding officers.

NASA's list of 12 nominees was presented to the officers by National Assembly Minority leader John Mbadi and his Senate counterpart Moses Wetangula.

In NASA's list, Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga's brother Oburu Oginga has been appeared first in the list followed by Kalonzo Musyoka's son Kennedy.

NASA chief executive Norman Magaya, former MPs Fatuma Ibrahim (Wajir), Abdikadir Aden (Balambala) and former EALA MP Abubakar Zain are also in the list.

Others considered by NASA are Jane Marwa, Beth Mutunga, Loy Mwaviala, Angela Munyasya, Justus Mochoge and Winfred Mutua.

Former MPs Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East), Wanjiku Muhia (Nyandarua), Simon Mbugua (Kamukunji), Abdulaziz Farah (Mandera East) and Adan Noor (Mandera North) were considered by Jubilee Party.

Jubilee also fronted former National Assembly Clerk Justin Bundi, former Constitution Implementation Commission boss Charles Nyachae and Bishop Jackson Kosgei from Baringo.

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