NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – The Deputy Leader of the Minority Coalition in the National Assembly Jakoyo Midiwo says MPs will not begin vetting the four Cabinet Secretary nominees announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday.
The Gem MP said they will wait for the full 18-member Cabinet nominees before they start the vetting process.
Midiwo argued by vetting a partial list of nominees, it will be difficult for the House to ascertain whether the president has met the constitutional requirement of gender and regional representation in constituting his Cabinet.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto on Tuesday named four cabinet secretaries out of 18, but were due to announce more on Wednesday.
Fred Matiang’i Okengo was nominated for the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Henry K. Rotich Secretary for the National Treasury, James Wainaina Macharia for the Health Ministry and Ambassador Amina Mohamed for Foreign Affairs.
Suba MP John Mbadi raised the issue on the floor of the House and asked for the Speaker to guide lawmakers on the matter.
Mbadi claimed that the president acted unconstitutionally by announcing four nominees while Article 152 on the Constitution states that the president shall nominate and with the approval of the National Assembly, appoint Cabinet secretaries.
Speaker Justin Muturi however ruled Mbadi out of order saying he was pre-empting debate on matter that is not yet before the House.
It was expected that the names of the four nominees would be forwarded to the National Assembly for vetting by the Committee on Appointments.
Kenyatta last Thursday unveiled the structure of his new Cabinet made up of 18 ministries in a move aimed towards achieving a lean, efficient and effective executive branch of government.
Under the presidency, there will the Executive Office of the President and the Executive Office of the Deputy President with two ministries, namely the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and Ministry of Devolution and Planning.
Other ministries under the new structure are Defence, Foreign Affairs and Education which will have the Department of Education and Department of Science and Technology.
It also includes the ministries of The National Treasury, Health, Transport and Infrastructure which will have the Department of Transport Services and the Department of Infrastructure.
The ministries of Environment, Water and Natural Resource, Land, Housing and Urban Development, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) are also included in the new structure.
Other ministries are Sports, Culture and the Art, Labour, Social Security and Services, Energy and Petroleum.
Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries are now in one ministry and will be under the Department of Agriculture, Department of Livestock and Department of Fisheries
The remaining ministries are Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Commerce and Tourism.
The new structure of the Jubilee government also contains the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice.