, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – The interviews for 155 shortlisted candidates for Principal Secretaries in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s new government kicked on Monday morning at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.
The Interviews being conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) are expected to run for the next eleven days, including the public holiday and the weekend, according to the commission’s chairperson Margaret Kobia.
The Commission is seeking to get accounting officers who will be in charge of the departments in the 18 ministries.
Kobia indicated that the candidates had been drawn from all counties and some of the factors to be considered during the interviews are ethnic and gender balance.
“It is like every county has put their best talent to compete for this position of Principal Secretary,” she enthused and pledged that only competent individuals are hired for the posts.
“The reason why the constitution felt very strongly that Principal Secretaries should be hired through the PSC is to ensure that they are competent and are people who understand Civil Service and therefore what we are looking for is merit and a track record of performance and integrity,” she stated.
Kobia pointed out that 15 candidates will be interviewed per day with each being allocated 30 minutes during the process. She also explained that the reason why the interviews were being done in camera was to uphold the competitiveness of the hold process.
The Commission has however decided to conduct the entire exercise in camera, with Kobia explaining that they wanted each candidate to be comfortable with the process.
“Some of the applicants attract different levels of publicity and therefore from human resource practices, when an applicant is in a situation that has got a lot of disturbance we are not likely to get the best candidate. Therefore we have decided to make it quiet and professional,” she said.
Among those to face the interviewing panel are some serving Permanent Secretaries, heads of parastatals, and senior officials from both the civil service and the private sector.
Among the notable candidates include Permanent Secretaries Bitange Ndemo (Information), Jacob ole Miaron (Livestock), Cyrus Njiru (Transport), Ludeki Chweya (Home Affairs), Edward Sambili (Planning) and Prof Jacqueline Oduol (Gender and Children Affairs).
Others are Mzalendo Kibunjia of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and Paul Wasanga of the Kenya National Examinations Council.
Among the big names that missed out despite having applied include Cooperative Development, Special Programmes and Public Health Permanent Secretaries Seno Nyakenyanya, Andrew Mondo and Mark Bor respectively.