The letter by Senator Nyong’o to nominated senator Joy Gwendo has caused juicy exchanges among Luos and other Kenyans on social media.
In the one paragraph letter, Senator Nyong’o explains to Senator Gwendo why it is improper to invite him to a function in a county he represents in a manner that suggests the jubilee allied senator is some ‘go-between’ between the county of Kisumu and the national government.
â€œHow can I join you in welcoming the cabinet secretary to my county? Is he coming as a personal guest or in his official capacity? Or, is he coming as a jubilee operative? In which case, I am the wrong person to inviteâ€, wrote Nyong’o.
Dr. Kiboye Yogo of Moi University had this to say:
I am surprised that majority of the respondents herein neither have the capacity nor the means for understanding the simple drift exemplified in Sen. Nyongoâ€™s short letter to Sen. Gwendo.
First and foremost, Sen. Nyongo is a member of the national government. He represents Kisumu County in the upper house of the parliament. Any invitation to an official government visit to his constituency must therefore come from the ministry concerned itself.
Not the office of another senator, especially one nominated to represent another partyâ€™s agenda in the Senate. I know many of us who are yet to get educated on the definition of â€œgovernmentâ€, especially as clearly epitomized by the Kenyan Constitutional matrix, cannot separate party from state. Nyongo as an expert on issues political is at first surprised by such curious defiance of protocol, then he goes, no, no, no! He did not wait to do what Martha Karua once did during a President Moi function. At fist thinking it was official, she attended, only to realize it was a KANU function, and then she walked out. Sen. Nyongo simply saw the insult for what it is then politely turned it down.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is trite political etiquette that protocol is the handmaiden of substance. It does not take the Hawkinsian â€œtheory of time and spaceâ€ to put Sen. Nyongo in perspective, at least on this one. Some of us even go ahead to negatively invoke the name and anatomy of that great African and human being Lupita Nyongâ€™o! Why
Lastly, I would like to put it that an objective interrogation of Sen. Nyongoâ€™s missive to Sen. Gwendo is well in order and democratic. However, abusing him out of your incapacity to place him is a sign of grim primitivity that our people are not known for. So I will assume that those are masqueraders.
Dr. Yogo was reacting to comments by others that the senator appeared ‘disrespectful’ to the cabinet secretary while others claimed he was too harsh to Senator Gwendo – a first time nominated legislator.
Others took to defending devolution, with blogger Dikembe Disembe insisting national government ministers should work on policy and not infringing on duties already devolved to ward representatives.