Ex-Security & Defence minister makes comeback to Parliament after 20 years

The former Internal Security and Defence Minister was so powerful in Moi’s government that many likened him to a prime minister.

Julius Sunkuli

Former Internal Security Minister Julius Sunkuli has made a political comeback to the National Assembly after being absent for 20 years.

Sunkuli, who was vying on a KANU ticket, was elected as MP for Kilgoris Constituency in Narok county after garnering 20,293 votes.

His closest competitor John Ololtua of UDA scored 16,713 votes while Jubilee’s Shadrack Sabaya was third with 12,957.

He takes over from incumbent MP Gideon Konchellah who vied for the Narok senator seat on a Jubilee Party ticket.

Sunkuli was a prominent figure during the administration of the late former President Daniel Moi.

According to political pundits, Sunkuli was so powerful in Moi’s government that many likened him to a prime minister.

Interestingly, the politician, who also served as Kenya’s ambassador to China initially wanted to become a Catholic priest.

My teachers were nuns from Holland. I enjoyed school because of these Sisters. They inspired me to become religious. When the seminary came to recruit for priesthood, I went for an interview and impressed the panel. We only had a problem when my father’s consent was sought,” he said in a past interview.

He went on to serve the church in other capacities and took up a job as a magistrate after completing his postgraduate diploma at the Kenya School of Law in 1987.

After serving in the Judiciary for 5 years, he became an MP at 31 years when he was elected as MP for Narok West constituency.

He would go on to vie for the Kilgoris MP seat and win, after which Moi appointed him as an Assistant Minister in the Office of the President in charge of Internal Security in 1993.

In 1999 he was appointed as the Internal Security and Public Service and in 2000, was transferred to the Ministry of Defence.

He lost the Kilgoris MP seat in 2002 and served as Kenya’s Ambassador to China between 2008 and 2012.

In 2013 competed against his brother Andrew Sunkili for the Narok Governor seat but both lost.

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