Vetting of Cabinet nominees kicks off, NASA MPs boycott


Vetting of Cabinet nominees kicks off, NASA MPs boycott
Prof. Margaret Kobia nominated to take charge of the Public Service and Youth Affairs docket appears before the Appoitments Committee. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

In Summary

  • The vetting of nine Cabinet nominees kicked off on Thursday, February 8 with all Opposition allied MPs who sit in the National Assembly Appointments Committee boycotting the exercise.
  • The committee, chaired by House Speaker Justin Muturi, will accord each of the nominees 90 minutes to respond to questions and demonstrate their suitability to steer the dockets they have been proposed to head.
  • Already, the nomination of four nominees has been contested by members of the public, who filed their grounds for opposition through sworn affidavits.

The vetting of nine Cabinet nominees kicked off on Thursday, February 8 with all Opposition allied MPs who sit in the National Assembly Appointments Committee boycotting the exercise.

The committee, chaired by House Speaker Justin Muturi, will accord each of the nominees 90 minutes to respond to questions and demonstrate their suitability to steer the dockets they have been proposed to head.

Already, the nomination of four nominees has been contested by members of the public, who filed their grounds for opposition through sworn affidavits.

One of the affidavits was sworn by Kennedy Echesa Lubengu, who claims Peter Munya, nominated to head the East African Community and Northern Corridor Ministry had integrity issues during his tenure as Meru Governor.

Prof. Margaret Kobia nominated to take charge of the Public Service and Youth Affairs docket was the first on the hot seat, and will be followed by former Turkana Senator John Munyes, who was nominated to head the Petroleum and Mining docket.

Dr. Monica Juma will close the vetting committee’s morning session, to defend her suitability to take over from Amina Mohamed at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Veteran broadcaster and media manager Farida Karoney will kick off the afternoon session, as the committee examines her nomination to head the Lands, Housing and Urban Planning docket.

Munya will wind up the first day of the vetting exercise, with 90 minutes to defend his suitability to handle the EAC and Northern Corridor Ministry.

On Friday, four nominees will be vetted. Former DPP Keriako Tobiko, nominated to head the Environment and Forestry docket will set the ball rolling, and pave the way for Simon Chelugui, nominated to fly the ministerial flag at Maji House.

Former Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatani, nominated to take over at the Labour Ministry will be on the hot seat at noon.

Rashid Achesa Muhamed, nominated to oversee the Sports and Culture docket will be last to appear before the vetting panel, before the committee retreats to prepare a report, that will be tabled before the House plenary for debate and a verdict on the cabinet nominees’ suitability for appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The vetting exercise will largely be a jubilee affair, after NASA declined to nominate members to the committee, questioning President Kenyatta’s legitimacy as the appointing authority.

With NASA’s absence, critics have termed the vetting process a jubilee rubber stamping event, a position refuted by Speaker Muturi.

Sources at the committee disclosed that applications by Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot to appear before the committee has been rejected.

Kenya Human Rights Commission’s application through George Kegoro was also declined.

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Story By Francis Gachuri
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