NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 23 – Two MPs on Monday called on President Mwai Kibaki to revoke the appointment of Geoffrey Wahungu as National Environmental Management Authority Director General saying it failed to take into account the issue of regional balance in government appointments.
Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee Chairman Mohammed Affey questioned the criteria used to appoint Wahungu whom the interviewing panel had ranked third with a score of 58 points.
“Certain people are taking advantage of Kibaki’s last term to get their cronies on plum posts in the civil service. I suspect this was done behind his back,” Affey said.
He argues that the president has breached article 232 of the Constitution since the appointment was informed by factors other than merit.
The article provides for equal opportunity for “appointment, training and advancement, at all levels of the public service”.
Moi University lecturer for human ecology and social studies Abdirizak Nunow was ranked top with 65 points while Jacob Kibwage the Dean, School of Environment and Natural Resources Management at the University of Nairobi’s South Eastern University College came in second with 59 points.
Isiolo South MP Abdul Bahari said that the he will move to court to seek redress if the president fails to act.
“Discretion must also be seen to be fair. We need disclosure on why the person picked was not the first on the list, not the second, but the third one,” said Bahari.
“I can assure you, that on this one, unless the appointment is revoked and the gazette notice cancelled, we’ll seek recourse in a court of law. The appointment is unjust, unfair and unconstitutional,” the Isiolo South Member of Parliament added.
Last week, the president came under pressure to name the NEMA Director-General two months after receiving names of three shortlisted candidates.
The MPs questioned why it had taken long for the President to make the appointment to fill the position left by Ayub Macharia, who has been acting as the Director General of Nema, following the acrimonious exit of Muusya Mwinzi from the helm of the environmental watchdog.
Affey said they will summon the Environment Minister Chirau Mwakwere and acting Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia to explain the president’s decision.
The process of recruiting a new boss at Nema began in July last year but the final list of short listed candidates were submitted to the President on January 20.