Former MPs named in new diplomatic line up - Daily Nation

Former MPs named in new diplomatic line up

Thursday January 15 2009

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. They have appointed a top- level committee to handle affairs of the coalition government. Photo/ FILE. 

By DAVID MUGONYI

President Kibaki on Thursday made changes in the diplomatic corps and appointed seven new ambassadors.

Among them are two former MPs, a former provincial commissioner, a high school principal and a human rights activist.

Former Kilome MP Mutinda Mutiso is the new high commissioner to Tanzania while former Kiharu MP Kembi Gitura will represent Kenya in Belgium and the European Union.

Mr Mutiso, a close ally of Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka who lost his seat to Pick’s Haroun Mwau in the December 27, 2007, General Election, will replace Mr Boaz Baya.

Mr Gitura who also lost in last year’s election, will take over from Mr Marx Kahende.

Former Nairobi provincial commissioner Francis Sigei is the new ambassador to Nigeria, while Mr Elkanah Odembo replaces Ms Rachel Omamo in France. Mr Sigei takes over from Mr Daniel Koikai.

Mr Odembo was a consultant with the Ford Foundation and also an executive director of Ufadhili Trust, a non-governmental organisation.

The former principal of Friends School Kamusinga, Mr Simon Nabukwesi, will take over the reins in Canada. He will replace Prof Judith Mbula Bahemuka.

The head of China affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Mohammed Gello, has been promoted to become Kenya’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Macharia Kamau was appointed to the permanent mission of Kenya to the United Nations office in Nairobi. Mr Kamau, who was a senior associate at Africa Policy Institute, Pretoria, South Africa will replace Mr Zachary Muburi.

The President also appointed Mr Jimnah Mbaru chairman of the National cereals and Produce Board. Mr Mbaru was the chairman of the Nairobi Stock Exchange until he retired last year.

The NCPB has lately been in the newsover a Sh825 million scandal involving the sale of maize when more than 10 million Kenyans were starving.

Mr Patrick Wamoto, Mr Anthony Andanje and Mrs Josephine Gaita were promoted to the rank of ambassadors at the ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Wamoto is now an ambassador and director of political affairs. Mr Andanje is an ambassador and director of the international organisation division and Mrs Gaita is an ambassador and director of the office of the International Conference of the International Conference on Great Lakes.

The issue surrounding the diplomats has been on the cards for the last seven months, with some of the envoys recalled declining to return to the country.

Portfolio balance

However, it was not clear whether Thursday’s appointments will end the row between coalition partners PNU and ODM.

The Orange party had rejected the three out of the 17 positions it was offered, arguing that they wanted a 50:50 share in line with portfolio balance in the National Accord and Reconciliation Act.

The issue was recently brought to the fore with ODM saying it had been short-changed in senior Government appointments.

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