Meet Amason Jeffah Kingi, the new Senate Speaker?

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Amason Kingi was sworn in on Thursday, September 8, as the fourth Speaker of the Senate and the fourth in the pecking order in Kenya after garnering 46 votes – 10 of which were from Senators affiliated with Azimio la Umoja.

Kingi was born in 1974 in Kilifi. In 1980 he was enrolled at Magarini Primary School after which he joined Alliance High School for his secondary education. He left Alliance in 1992 and was admitted to the University of Nairobi (UoN) in 1994, graduating four years later with a law degree.

Upon graduation, followed by a pupillage stint, Kingi went into private practice in Mombasa. While in Mombasa, he took a short contract as district coordinator for the Kilifi District, working for the Constitution of Kenya Reform Commission (CKRC).

His political career began with the 2007 elections, where he contested the Magarini Constituency seat in Kilifi District, now Kilifi County, on an ODM ticket. He defeated the establishment candidate touted as the favourite, Harrison Kombe of the Shirikisho Party of Kenya (SPK).

Kingi hails from the minority community of Giriama and his legal acuity, party loyalty, and great negotiating tactics proved to be solid political assets.

The late President Mwai Kibaki and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga noticed his rising star and rewarded him with a Cabinet seat in the Grand Coalition Government that followed the 2007 post-election violence. Kingi took over the Ministry for East African Community Affairs in the record-breaking and historic Cabinet that consisted of 41 ministers. 

In August 2010, President Kibaki reshuffled the coalition Cabinet. With the alliance’s subtleties at play and bringing in consultation with key partner Prime Minister Odinga, Kingi moved to the Ministry of Fisheries Development to take over from Paul Otuoma who was moved to Youth and Sports. Helen Sambili replaced Kingi at the EAC docket.

In 2013, Kingi contested and won the Kilifi governorship and was subsequently re-elected in 2017. In a quest to get the Coast region from the grip of ODM, he formed the Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) party.

His party, which has three MPs, cut ties with Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja Coalition mid-this year and joined William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza which sponsored his bid to be Senate Speaker