An odd mix of MPs and senators was on Thursday sworn-in to office in a colourful ceremony to mark the start of the 12th Parliament.
It was a commingling of aging have-beens and a budding crop of youths who will now be charged with the task of debating and passing laws that will guide Kenyans.
A good number of the legislators were returning from the political cold after they were rejected by voters in the past. Some have been out of Parliament for more than 10 years.
But an interesting case is of new Kangema MP Muturi Kigano, a man who has tried his hand in elective politics, first in 1974, and has since had four unsuccessful attempts.
This time, however, voters in Kangema – a seat that has in the past been held by the late Joseph Kamotho (before it became Mathioya) and late John Michuki – chose him as their MP.
After 43 years of trying, except in 2007 when he was a member of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya, he has finally made it to parliament. He is currently the oldest MP in the chamber that boasts of youths young enough to be his grandchildren.
In the 2012 by- election following the death of Michuki, he lost to newcomer Mr Tirus Ngahu whom he defeated in the recent elections.
Also interesting was the swearing-in of Mwangi Githiomi, the new Nyandarua Senator.
Mr Githiomi has been out of parliament for 15 years since 2002 after representing the people of Kipipiri constituency for two terms.
He was first elected to parliament in the famous 1995 by- election. He made headlines after trouncing Kanu’s man, Joe Maina, despite the heavy state machinery used in the campaigns that were led by retired president Daniel arap Moi. He was minister for Planning in 2002.
Voters in Embu also brought back Njeru Ndwiga as their senator. He has been in the political cold for 10 years having represented Manyatta constituency for 10 years on a Democratic Party ticket until 2007 when he lost the seat to Emilio Kathuri.
He served as Minister for Cooperatives in retired president Mwai Kibaki’s Narc administration. He said the reformed Parliament will make him deliver better once he settles down for business.
“A lot of things have changed since I was here,” he said.
New Wajir Senator Ali Ibrahim has been out for 10 years. He served as MP for Wajir North for five years from 2002 to 2007, before losing out to Mr Mohamed Gabow, who lost to Mohamed Saney.
The seat appears jinxed as Mr Saney was also voted out in the recent elections. Mr Ibrahim was a member of the Parliamentary Service Commission during the last parliament.
Also returning is Ephraim Maina (Nyeri, Jubilee). He was MP for Mathira for one term before his unsuccessful bid for Nyeri governorship where he lost to the late Ndiritu Gachagua in 2013 general elections.
“The people have given me the mandate and its now upon me to deliver. Being out gave me an opportunity to be with my family and friends. I expect the Senate to promote the interests of counties than it has done before,” Mr Maina said.
West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio said those who served before made it easier for new members.
“The foundation was set for us. It’s upon us to deliver and improve on where our colleagues left,” Mr Poghisiso said. He served for two interrupted terms before losing the Kacheliba parliamentary seat to Charles Murgor in the 2013. He served as Information minister during President Mwai Kibaki’s last term.
He has also been the chairman of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.
Prof Sam Ongeri (Kisii, ODM), has served in various dockets as minister with the last being Foreign Affairs before losing the Nyaribari Masaba seat in the 2013 elections.
“It is our collective business to ensure that proper oversight is done in the management of public funds,” Prof Ongeri said yesterday at Parliament Buildings.
Until the last general election, Prof Ongeri was Kenya’s permanent representative to UN Habitat. He resigned to contest on the ODM ticket.
Ms Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu, Jubilee), served for five years in the 10th Parliament on an ODM ticket before losing the Eldoret East seat in the 2013 general elections.
Now in Jubilee, Ms Kamar says that it was a befitting break that took her back to her consultancy work and farming business.
“I have been busy consulting for Senate and the Council of Governors to promote the devolution agenda,” Prof Kamar said.
In the National Assembly, Jubilee MPs Amos Kimunya (Kipipiri), Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa), Fred Kapondi (Mount Elgon) also made a comeback.
Mr Kimunya was first elected to the National Assembly in 2002 before losing the seat in 2013 to his former CDF chairman Samuel Gichigi, whom he defeated this to reclaim the seat.
“It is our mandate to deliver to the people who elected us,” Mr Kimunya said.
Mr Kioni said that being out of Parliament helped him reconnect with the people and spend more time with his family.
“It is good to be back to connect with the old friends and new ones,” Mr Kioni said.
He served for five years until 2013 when he became Musalia Mudavadi’s running mate in the 2013 presidential elections.
Mr Kapondi returns having lost the seat in 2013 to then independent candidate John Serut.
He said being out was like a sabbatical and an eye opener that “you don’t take the people for granted.”
Mr Raphael Wanjala (Budalangi, ODM) beat his political rival Ababu Namwamba to announce his comeback after 10 years in the political cold.
He first made a debut in the ninth parliament and also served as Water and Natural Resources assistant minister. “This is the greatest thing that has ever happened in his life. I am happy that I have another opportunity to serve the people of Budalang’i.”
Joshua Kuttuny (Cherengany, Jubilee) is marking his second losing in 2013 general elections Wesley Korir, then an independent candidate.
“I lost the seat because I focused more on the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013,” he said. The president would later appoint him his political advisor.
Mr Maoka Maore (Igembe North, Jubilee) served the people of Ntonyiri for 15 years until 2002 when he lost the seat.
The constituency would later be renamed Igembe South in the boundary delimitation ahead of the 2013 General Election.
“This is a completely new generation with different expectations; I will strive to fulfill all my pledges.”
Jayne Kihara (Naivasha, Jubilee) is also making a comeback after 10 years in the political cold. She became MP for Naivasha through a by- election in 2004 following the death of her husband Paul Kihara.
Mr Charles Kilonzo (Yata, Independent) has served since 2002 before losing in 2013.
Ms Beatrice Kones (Bomet East, Jubilee) beat her son Mr Kipng’etich Kones to win the seat in the just concluded elections.
“I am happy to be back. My conceded and we will work together for the good of the electorate,” Mr Kones said.
In a different turn from sideshows, one MP was on oxygen support and another on a wheelchair.