NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – Kalpana Rawal and Francis Kimemia are now awaiting appointment to the positions of Deputy Chief Justice and Secretary to the Cabinet respectively, after Parliament approved their nominations on Thursday evening.
Their names will now be sent to President Uhuru Kenyatta for formal appointment and swearing-in.
MPs who had extended their sitting unanimously agreed with the Committees on Administration and National Security and that of Justice and Legal Affairs Committee which approved both Kimemia and Rawal’s nominations.
In a report tabled before Parliament on Tuesday, the Administration and National Security Committee said it was not convinced by a report presented by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) which had implicated Kimemia in allegations of corruption and nepotism.
The committee led by Tiaty MP Asman Kamama said the EACC Chief-Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo had clearly indicated in his presentation that the letter sent to the committee was for cautionary and advisory purposes but not to depict Kimemia as guilty or culpable.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission had accused Kimemia of blocking the suspension of a former Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director and a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over how they handled the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Greenfield Terminal Project and in the purchase of the Tokyo Embassy property respectively.
Kimemia had in his defence told the committee that his office did not block the suspension of the two officers as he was not the appointing authority and also as a result of a court order. His actions, he told the committee, were guided by the need to safeguard the public rather than personal interests.
The committee’s report said that the information from EACC is not conclusive or sufficient to block Kimemia’s appointment.
The parliamentary committee has asked the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission to expedite its investigations into both matters.
Rawal also got approval after the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee cleared her.
The committee cited her vast experience in the Judiciary and her humble disposition. The committee however, expressed its reservations on the fact that the Rawal did not demonstrate a clear view of human rights and was not clear on her legal philosophy.
Despite the fact that she has only three years to her retirement … we feel that being an ‘insider’ of the Judiciary with the CJ (Dr Mutunga) as an ‘outsider’, that blend would be of beneficial to the judicial transformation – Chepkonga
The committee led by Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga said although Rawal demonstrated undertaking of administration and management, she could not reconcile the same with the strategic plan of the Judiciary.
“Despite the fact that she has only three years to her retirement … we feel that being an ‘insider’ of the Judiciary with the CJ (Dr Mutunga) as an ‘outsider’, that blend would be of beneficial to the judicial transformation.” Chepkonga said.
The committee however notes that plan should be put in place to ensure seamless transition because Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (67 years old) and Rawal are bound to exit office at almost the same time.
Article 167 of the Constitution states that Judges will retire at the age of 70 and not 74 as was the case in the old Constitution. The Chief Justice will serve for only one term of 10 years and if he or she has not reached retirement age, can opt to become a judge of the Supreme Court.