Kenya: MPs Give CS Juma 10 Days to Report Back on Dual Citizen Mwende Mwinzi

13 September 2019

Nairobi — A Parliamentary Committee has given Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma 10 days to write a formal communication to Parliament whether the nominee for High Commission post in Seoul, South Korea Mwende Mwinzi has renounced her US citizenship.

Mwinzi, who was nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta and subsequently vetted by the National Assembly Defense and Foreign Relations Committee, is both a Kenyan and US citizen, a predicament that has placed her at odds with the legislators.

Upon vetting, Mwinzi was approved but advised to renounce her US citizenship or forego the job.

Her dual citizenship status has been a bone of contention with MPs insisting that the law that bars persons who hold dual citizenship from occupying state office jobs should be strictly observed.

Appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Implementation on Thursday evening, CS Juma told members of the Moitalel Ole Kenta-led committee that she will be pursuing Mwinzi to seek clarification matter.

"I will definitely get in touch with her and get the true position of the matter," she said.

She told the committee that none of the ambassadors appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta have left the country.

She revealed that out of the 59 fully established missions and consulates only six of them have no appointees.

She noted that Mwinzi's dilemma was the first of its kind noting that there were no mechanisms to avert such situations but affirmed that the ministry would follow the law to its letter.

Committee chair Kenta maintained that it was imperative that the matter gets to be fully ascertained for surety purposes.

"As a committee, we want to give you ten days to deal with this matter. Please write to us and tell us whether she is ready to renounce her citizenship or not so that we can include this in our report," he said.

The committee probe follows Speaker Justin Muturi's directive who ordered the committee to expedite the probe on the matter and report back to the House after Endebess MP Robert Pukose claimed that he had obtained reports that the Mwingi West Jubilee parliamentary aspirant in the 2017 election had already presented her credential in South Korea for clearance.

CS Juma in August this year presided over the induction of the cohort of ambassadors appointed in July, including Mwinzi.

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