PROFILE

Maoka Maore: The unlikely invitee to the BBI political high table

Maore has variously written in support of the handshake and the BBI process.

In Summary

• Maoka Maore only returned to the national political limelight on June 2, when he was appointed as the Deputy Majority Whip in the National Assembly.

• He argues that the BBI initiative aims at giving power back to the people.

Igembe North MP Maoka Maore at his constituency in February 2019
NO GAMBLING: Igembe North MP Maoka Maore at his constituency in February 2019
Image: DENNIS DIBONDO

When some political bigwigs met at Cotu boss Francis Atwoli’s Kajiado home on August 2, a not so popular politician was among them.

Captured in the photos that were shared on social media were Atwoli, who was the host, ODM leader Raila Odinga, his ally and Siaya Senator James Orengo, Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe and former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth.

Then there was Richard Maoka Maore, arguably the shortest and the only other light-skinned person apart from Kenneth.

Maoka Maore returned to the national political limelight on June 2, when he was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta as the Deputy Majority Whip in the National Assembly.

 

Maore is, however, not new in the political game.

He was first elected to Parliament in 1992 as Ntonyiri MP, upon the return of multiparty politics. He held the position until 2007.

Between 1992 and 1997, Maore served as a Public Accounts Committee member. He was Education assistant minister from 2002 during President Mwai Kibaki’s tenure.

Maore was also a member of the Library committee, Public Investments Committee, and Energy, Roads and Communications committee between 2003 and 2007.

He lost his seat in the 2007 general election and stayed in the cold for 10 years, before returning to Parliament in 2017, this time representing Igembe North. He won on the Jubilee ticket.

His profile in the National Assembly shows he started his career as a teacher at St Luke’s Secondary School, where he had also studied between 1979 and 1982.

He was Kanu’s deputy secretary general from 2005, a position he held until 2007.

 

Before that, he was a youth coordinator at Nyambene Methodist Synod.

EDUCATION

Having excelled in his high school education at St Luke’s Secondary School, Maore proceeded to Machakos School for his Form 5 and 6 studies. He completed his studies in 1984.

He then proceeded to the US, where he joined Hiwassee College and attained Associate of Arts Certificate in 1989, before joining Asbury College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1991.

What is in the handshake?

Maore has variously written in support of the handshake and the BBI process.

He writes that BBI’s real purpose is straightforward – to address the number one flaw in Kenyan politics. "While the system may work well for those at the top, it does not work for ordinary people,” he says.

He argues that the initiative aims at giving power back to the people.

“Representation which is fairer to all groups making up Kenya, and thus will foster peace and harmony across the board, offers a guarantee for peace and prosperity in the future. What is needed is a system that unites all of us at such a critical stage of our nation’s history where intra-continental and geopolitical challenges abound,” he says.

A parliamentary reporter says while Maore does not have much political clout, his Deputy Majority Whip position gives him the privilege of attending high-profile meetings.