Kenneth Otiato Marende, a long time political friend to Raila Odinga was born in January 1956 in
Bunyore’s Mumboha village in Vihiga county.
Marende was educated at Kakamega school and later on maseno school. He is now a member of
Wamunyinyi-led democratic action party, having been elected to his first term as an M.P for the now
Vihiga County’s Emuhaya constituency on a NARC Party ticket, in 2002 general elections. He retained his
seat in the 2007 general election, but his election as the 10th parliament speaker, left the MP seat
vacant, later on being filled by Wilber Otichilo on an ODM ticket in a by-election.
In the first round of voting Marende who was the candidate of the Orange Democratic Movement,
(ODM) for the position of speaker, received 104 votes, while the government’s candidate Francis Ole
Kaparo received 99 votes; in the second round Marende retained his 104 votes with Ole Kaparo
receiving a hundred and two. Although a two-thirds majority was required in the first two rounds,
subsequently only a simple majority was required, and marende was elected in the third round with 105
votes against 101 for Francis Ole Kaparo.
In April 2009 when parliament re-opened, he was forced to make a tough ruling on who should be the
leader of government business in parliament, due to an impasse between the president and the prime
minister. In his historic ruling, he temporarily appointed himself based on parliament standing orders, as
the chairperson of the House Business Committee until the impasses was resolved.
In January 2022 Kenneth Marende joined the DAP-Kenya party in Azimio la Umoja coalition being one of
Raila’s foot soldiers in the presidential campaigns rallying the Western Kenya’s votes behind the
Marende is set to square it out with Kenya kwanza co-principal, Moses Wetang’ula in the battle for the
speaker of the 13th parliament, which is expected to hold its first sitting this week.


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