, NAIROBI, Kenya May 13 – The National Assembly will have only Tuesday to debate, approve or reject Uhuru Kenyatta’s nominees for Cabinet Secretaries.
Speaker Justin Muturi who chairs the Committee on Appointment says that if Parliament fails to meet the deadline, the nominees will automatically stand appointed.
“The 14-day period provided by the law for the tabling of the names in the House ends on Tuesday. The members will then debate the report and approve or reject it,” Muturi said.
The Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act provides a 14-day period upon which the nominees must be vetted from the date on which the National Assembly gave notification of their nomination.
The Act caters for procedures in parliamentary approval of constitutional and statutory appointments.
According to the legislation, at the conclusion of an approval hearing, the committee is required to prepare its report on the suitability of the candidate to be appointed to the offices they have been nominated to, including recommendations it may deem necessary.
The nominees will stand approved if, after the expiry of the period for consideration specified in the law, Parliament has neither approved nor rejected the nominations.
Leader of the Majority Coalition in the National Assembly Aden Duale is expected to table the list in the House on Tuesday afternoon.
Muturi went on to defended the committee against a backlash from the public that they appeared easy-going on the nominees, saying the vetting was not meant to be a witch-hunt.
“The public appointment and approval process is not a witch-hunt. Unfortunately Kenyans are used to witch-hunting and name calling… that is not something we are supposed to do. As a committee we will be wrong to go on a wild goose chase,” stated the House Speaker.
“This is the first time we are doing this in Kenya and we can’t afford to set bad manners in the name of hard-tackling. Even hard-tackling can be ruled as a foul in football or rugby.”
The committee which is chaired by the Speaker of the National Assembly has been meeting at the Windsor Hotel in Nairobi to finalise its report.
Committee members met under their political party caucuses before they went in for Monday afternoon’s report writing session.
Muturi said that although there were no major controversies surrounding the nominees during the vetting period, the committee members will vote to determine their suitability based on how they responded to questions and the nature of the public affidavits filed against them and their responses.
The Speaker has no vote.