Meet the Four Professors Serving as Senators

  • The Senate building located in Nairobi CBD.
    An undated image of the Senate building located in Nairobi CBD.
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  • A number of Kenyan politicians have been in the spotlight due to questionable academic papers, but it would seem the Senate stands apart as a house hosting accomplished intellectuals who have attained the highest academic accolade.

    Kenyans.co.ke has compiled a list of the 4 professors serving in the current Senate. 

    1. Margaret Kamar Jepkoech 

    Kamar joined elective politics in 2007 when she clinched the Eldoret East parliamentary seat. She was elected to the Senate in 2017 where she serves as Uasin Gishu Senator and Deputy Speaker of the Senate. 

    She attended Punjab Agricultural University in India awarded where she was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture then later attained a Masters of Education in Agriculture from McGill University Quebec in Canada.

    Kamar later went to the University of Toronto, in Canada where she was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in soil science.

    Kamar
    An Image of Uasin Gishu Senator and Deputy Speaker of the Senate Margaret Kamar during a Senate proceeding on September 22, 2021.
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    Margaret Kamar

    Kamar’s career started way back in 1983 when she served as a District soil conservation officer before securing a job as a lecturer at Moi University. She later rose through the ranks  - starting out on administrative roles and later attaining a professorship at the university and ultimately becoming its Deputy Vice-Chancellor Moi University in 2002.

    Her political career began at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) where she served as a member from 1999-2006.

    She was then elected as a Member of Parliament for Eldoret East Constituency in 2008 where she served for one term before becoming an Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Environment. She was later appointed the Minister for Higher Education Science and Technology in the grand-coalition government.

    2. Sam Ongeri

    In 2017, he was elected the Senator of Kisii County on an ODM ticket, becoming the oldest member of the Kenyan Senate.

    Prof Ongeri holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree from the University of Bombay. He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians in the UK.

    He is also renowned for the many academic positions he held while teaching at the University of Nairobi between 1972 and 1988 when he left later quit his job as a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health to join politics.

    Sam Ongeri
    An undated image of Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri during a past Senate Proceeding.
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    The veteran politician was first elected to Parliament in 1988 as the MP for Nyaribari Masaba Constituency where he served until 2002.

    He was then appointed the Minister of Education between 2007 and 2012 and later reshuffled to the Foreign Affairs Ministry where he served for a year.

    Ongeri also served as the Chair of the Conference of Ministers of Education of the African Union (COMEDAF) and the Co-Chair of the Association of Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).

    3. Kithure Kindiki

    The second-time Senator for Tharaka-Nithi was first elected in 2013 and re-elected in the subsequent General Election of 2017 on a Jubilee Party ticket.

    Kindiki obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Moi University in 1998 after which he proceeded to the Kenya School of Law (KSL) to attend the Advocates’ Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies.

    He acquired a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Human Rights Law and Democracy from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2000. Kindiki then studied a PhD in International Law at the same University and graduated in 2002.

    Kindiki was employed in 1999 as a lecturer of Undergraduate Law at Moi University. He later moved to the University of Nairobi in 2004 as a law lecturer before becoming the University's head of the Public Law Department.

    He served as the Senate’s Majority Leader between 2013 to 2017 and was later appointed the Deputy Speaker of the Senate from August 2017 to 22 May 2020 when he was de-whipped from his position by the Jubilee Party.

    4. Imana Malachy Ekal

    Professor Imana Malachy Ekal was elected the Senator of Turkana County on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in 2017.

    Imana obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nairobi in 1987 after which he was granted a scholarship to peruse a Master of Sciences (M.Sc.) at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in the United States of America (USA). He later obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) before being recognized as a Professor in 2015.

    He began his career as a teacher in 1980 before becoming an instructor at Egerton University three years later. Imana was later offered a job at the University of Texas-El Paso which he held till 2012.

    Two other professors - Anyang' Nyong'o and John Lonyangapuo served in the first Senate under the new constitution but have since moved on to become Governors in Kisumu and West Pokot respectively. 

    kindiki
    An undated image of Kithure Kindiki addressing the press.
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    Kindiki Kithure