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3 nominees picked for salaries commission post

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 2 – The vetting panel seeking a candidate for the position of the chairperson to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission wound up its duties on Friday and forwarded three names to the President for consideration, in accordance with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission Act.

The panel, which kicked off the vetting on Thursday morning, said it would also forward its report to the President and Prime Minister for perusal before the close of business on Friday.

Catherine Omweno, Elijah Achoch, Johnstone Kavuludi, Peter Ondieki, Sarah Cheserem, Goeffrey Obura, Abisai Ambege and Mary Kezzah had all been short listed and grilled for the position.

The selection panel, under the chairmanship of George Muchai, however declined to name the three individuals whom it deemed most fit for the position.

“We will not make the list public because we think the President in consultation with the Prime Minister should look at it first and let the public know who the three are,” said Mr Muchai.

The selection panel shortlisted eight candidates out of 32 who had applied for the position of chairperson.

According to Clause 7 (10) of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission Act, the President in consultation with the Prime Minister shall within seven days of receipt of the names nominate a chairperson and other members of the commission and forward the names of the nominees to the National Assembly.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission is supposed to have 13 members, excluding the chairperson. The 13 individuals will be nominated by various State and private institutions through a competitive process.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission Act states that the nominating bodies shall consider the applications received and forward the names of two persons so qualified, who shall be of opposite gender, to the Cabinet Secretary for onward transmission to the President.

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Some of the nominating institutions include: the Parliamentary Service Commission, the Public Service Commission, the Judicial Service Commission, the Teachers Service Commission and the National Police Service Commission.

After receiving the nominees, the National Assembly shall within 21 days consider the names and may approve or reject them.

“Where the National Assembly rejects any nomination, the Speaker shall communicate the decision to the President to submit fresh nominations,” reads Clause 7 (14) of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission Act.

The Act also explains that the Speaker shall forward the names of the approved nominees to the President for appointment if Parliament accepts them. After that, the President shall, within seven days, by notice in the Gazette, appoint the chairperson and members approved by the National Assembly.

On Thursday Ms Omweno, Mr Achoch, Mr Kavuludi, Mr Ondieki and Ms Cheserem appeared before the selection panel and they all asked for a minimum of Sh1 million as monthly pay. Mr Obura, Mr Ambege and Ms Kezzah appeared before the committee on Friday.

While being interviewed by the panel on Thursday Mr Achoch said that he would want Sh1.5 million per month if he was selected as the Commission’s Chairperson.

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday evening, Transport Minister Amos Kimunya warned the nominees of various commissions against being too money-oriented at the expense of their national duties.

“I hope people are not just doing this because it is a job. The salary issues we had with the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution was embarrassing and I would not want a situation where commissioners are appointed and they start saying how much they want to be paid,” he said.

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