James Momanyi @jamomanyi
The Senate Finance and Budget Committee yesterday kicked off the vetting of 42 candidates shortlisted for the positions of commissioners to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) on behalf of the county governments.
Those who appeared before the committee in the morning included Dr Jackson Wanjau, Timothy Gutettah, Dominic Gicheru, Cornelius Wamalwa, Enock Nyaseda and Metha Kaburu. More candidates were interviewed in the afternoon by the committee chaired by Mandera Senator Mohamed Mahamud.
They included former Kakamega Women’s Rep Rachel Amolo, former Uashin Gishu Senator Isaac Melly, the outgoing National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) member Prof Joseph Naituli and former MP Omingo Magara.
During the morning session, most of the candidates had challenges explaining on what they would do to solve the contentious ballooning wage bill and how to address the human resource challenges facing county governments.
Most of the candidates said they would consult widely on the issue of wage bill. The integrity issues of the candidates also emerged with Gutettah telling the vetting panel that he has never received a bribe and that because of his strong anti-corruption grounding; he was transferred from the prime position of Embu County Secretary post after he refused to approve irregular payments to some contracted staff.
There were also moments of humor as the Senators tried to gauge the suitability of the candidates. Senators were taken aback when one of the candidates said that one of his challenging moments as a senior human resource manager in one of the government departments was when two male adults were caught having unnatural act in the office.
“I didn’t know what to do because at that time some people were saying same sex relationships should be allowed and accepted. We finally agreed to counsel them,” he said. Makueni Senator loudly said; “But you could have fired them for doing that in the office!”
Another candidate, accountant Kaburu also shocked the members when he said although he has a PhD and Masters’ degree, he doesn’t have a Bachelors degree. “I did CPA up to K and I was allowed to proceed to do a Masters degree,” he said.