Kenya: 20 Young Legislators Feted for Articulating Youth Issues

12 August 2019

Nairobi — More than 20 young MPs and County Assembly members were on Friday recognised for their exemplary performance both in and outside Parliament.

the legislators were feted by the Ford Foundation, which lauded them for leading initiatives that connect with the youth.

The chairperson of the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association (KYPA) Johnson Sakaja urged his fellow legislators to be intentional and consistent in their leadership.

The Nairobi Senator, who was awarded in recognition of his commitment to leadership excellence, asked the MPs to be genuine and diligent in their work.

Apart from being the Nairobi Senator, Sakaja also serves as the Chairperson of the Senate Committee of Labour and Social Welfare, a Standing Committee which deals with matters pertaining to manpower and human resource planning, gender, cultural and social welfare, national heritage, betting, lotteries, sports, public entertainment, public amenities and recreation.

He also deputizes Wajir Senator Yusuf Haji in the Senate Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations which is a Standing Committee mandated to look into matters regional integration, national security and foreign relations, international relations, agreements, treaties and conventions.

Others who were awarded include Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, who is widely known for championing the students' welfare both before he was elected as an MP and after.

The MPs said they plan to have a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss issues affecting thousands of youth in the country.

Other members who were awarded during the award gala held on Friday include Murang'a County Woman Representative Sabina Chege, Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda and Molo MP Kuria Kimani.

Apart from being an astute debater, Chege who is serving her second term is the Chairperson of the National Assembly Committee on Health.

Lesuuda, who is the Vice-chairperson of the Regional Integration Committee in the National Assembly is also known for her efforts towards protecting gains for women, vulnerable and marginalized populations.

Nominated MPs Isaac Mwaura and Gideon Keter were also feted.

Keter last year drafted a legislative proposal seeking to have the law amended to provide for eight special seats for the youth in the National Assembly.

In his proposal which is yet to be prioritized by the House, the first-time MP wants the youth representative seats to be included on the ballot so as to have youth MPs to represent and articulate issues affecting the youth in the country.

"The youth of this country comprises almost 80 percent of the constitution but they have irrational representation," he said.

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