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Fate of CS nominees now in hands of MPs

The National Assembly resumes sittings tomorrow after the Christmas recess with its first business being to deliberate on the report of the Committee on Appointments on the nine nominees for Cabinet secretary positions who were vetted last week.

Members will either approve or reject the nominees before the names of successful ones are present to President Uhuru Kenyatta for formal appointment and swearing-in. The committee has retreated to a hotel in Naivasha, Nakuru county, to write its report on the suitability of the nominees before tabling it in Parliament.

The committee, which is chaired by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, will first deliberate on a report prepared by the parliamentary staff on the oral and written submissions made by the nominees.

Thereafter, the committee will take into consideration the nominees’ academic qualifications, integrity, conduct and track record to determine their suitability for appointment to their respective dockets.

It will be interesting to watch how Opposition legislators, who boycotted the vetting process citing “illegitimacy” of the government, will treat the debate in the House. The report is, however, expected to pass with relative ease considering that the ruling Jubilee Party has a comfortable majority in the National Assembly.

The nominees are Margaret Kobia (Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs), John Munyes (Petroleum and Mining), Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) and Simon Chelugui (Water and Sanitation). Others are Keriako Tobiko (Environment and Forestry), Rashid Achesa Mohammed (Sports and Heritage), Farida Karoney (Lands and Housing and Urban Development), Ukur Yattani (Labour and Social Protection) and Peter Munya (East African Community and Northern Corridor Development).

During the vetting conducted on Thursday and Friday last week, the nominees tried to convince MPs that they had the grasp of the issues and solutions to some of the problems in the dockets they have been assigned. Juma, who has been serving as the Principal secretary in the ministry of Foreign affairs, told MPs that she understood the mandate of the ministry and what could be done to improve areas identified as wanting.

Of the nominees,only Karoney and Achesa have not served in the public service before. While Karoney has had a long- standing career in the media, serving in several media houses in various capacities, Achesa has mainly been a political activist in Western Kenya.

Before decamping to Jubilee, Achesa was the ODM National youth chairman. He was a key pointman for the ruling party in the region perceived to be an opposition stronghold in last year’s General Election.

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