MPs seek more time to vet Cabinet and PS nominees

December 3, 2015 3:01 pm
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House Speaker Justin Muturi said this will allow MPs to ventilate on the reports of the 14 departmental committees which will have conducted their approval hearing on respective Principal Secretaries under their mandate/FILE
House Speaker Justin Muturi said this will allow MPs to ventilate on the reports of the 14 departmental committees which will have conducted their approval hearing on respective Principal Secretaries under their mandate/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – The National Assembly is on Thursday expected to approve a motion seeking the extension of the period needed to consider the suitability of nominees for appointment as Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Members of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

House Speaker Justin Muturi said this will allow MPs to ventilate on the reports of the 14 departmental committees which will have conducted their approval hearing on respective Principal Secretaries under their mandate.

About 12 committees will be involved in the vetting exercise. It therefore follows that the approval process will also be considered by the House by way of various separate motions. To this end it may not be possible to conclude with all the separate motion with the specified timelines.

“Pursuant to the provisions of Section 13 of the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act, this House resolves to extend the period for consideration of the nominees for appointment as Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Members of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), referred to the House during the current Third Part of the Third Session, by a further seven (7) days, from 15th December, 2015,” reads the Procedural Motion in Thursday’s Afternoon Sitting Order Paper.

The Speaker said the motion to be presented by House Majority Leader Aden Duale will also propose dates when the House will hold special sittings after breaking for its December recess later in the afternoon.

“This is will allow the conclusion of the approval motions after the tabling of the departmental reports when the House is recalled for special sittings on or around the December 16 – 17, 2015”

Muturi further clarified that only freshly nominated Cabinet Secretaries will be vetted by the Committee on Appointment.

“Article 152, (5) (a) and 155 (4) allows the president to reassign a Cabinet Secretary or a Principal Secretary respectively, indeed any appointment approved the National Assembly will not require subsequent vetting if the re-assignment is of the same nature and responsibility. Consequently, serving CSs and PSs who have been moved to other ministries will not require further approval of the House,” he directed.

Among those who were promoted or transferred and will face fresh vetting include Education CS Fred Matiang’i who was the CS for Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Prof Jacob Kaimenyi – who was moved from Education to the Ministry of Lands, Transport and Infrastructure CS James Macharia who was the CS for Health, Najib Balala, who was transferred from Mining to Tourism, and Phyllis Kandie, who was moved from East African Affairs and Tourism to Labour and Social Services.

READ: Only Uhuru’s new nominees to be vetted – Duale

National Assembly Clerk Justin Bundi on Thursday published a notice calling for the public to submit written statements on the suitability of the nominees who are set to be grilled by MPs from December.

READ: Parliament seeks public views on Uhuru nominees

President Uhuru Kenyatta last month re-organized his Cabinet in what would give the Jubilee government’s development agenda ‘fresh impetus’.

Among the new nominees were Kericho County Senator Chares Keter to Energy and Petroleum, Malindi MP Dan Kazungu to Mining, Willy Bett to Agriculture, Cleophas Mailu to Health, Mwangi Kiunjuri to Devolution and newly created Ministry of Public Service where Sicily Kariuki was nominated.

READ: Keter, Kiunjuri join new-look Uhuru Cabinet

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