A parliamentary committee has rejected Mwende Mwinzi’s nomination as Kenya’s ambassador to South Korea citing her failure to renounce her US citizenship.
The National Assembly committee on implementation. in a report tabled in the house Wednesday, recommended for the rejection of Ms Mwinzi and has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to nominate another person for the position.
The committee chairman Moitalel Ole Kenta (Narok North) said the team has just affirmed their earlier decision of the committee on defence and foreign relations that approved Mwende’s nomination but with a caveat that she renounces her US citizenship in line with the Constitution.
“Since it was a conditional approval there was no approval. Parliament said until and unless she renounces the American citizenship she should not be appointed,” Mr Ole Kenta said.
“It is now for us as committee to advice parliament to reject her and advise the appointing authority to appoint someone else,” Mr Ole Kenta added.
In June, the House approved the report of the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee approving the appointment of all nominees but with a caveat that Ms Mwinzi renounces her US citizenship in line with the Constitution.
However Ms Mwende went to court and in November 25, the court said Ms Mwinzi cannot be forced to opt out of a birth right because she did not participate in the decision to be born in the USA.
Article 78 (2) of the Constitution states that a State officer or a member of the defence forces shall not hold dual citizenship.
Envoys are public officers and although the Constitution does not expressly categorise them as State officers, clause 52 of the Leadership and Integrity Act says public officers are also State Officers.
Clause 31 (2) of the Leadership and Integrity Act goes on to say 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 of 2011.