, NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 25 – Twenty six Principal Secretary nominees now await formal appointment into office after Parliament unanimously approved their nominations.
This move completes the team that President Uhuru Kenyatta will rely on to fulfil his election manifesto.
MPs who needed a special morning sitting unanimously agreed with the House team reports on the suitability of the nominees to take office as presented by 11 committee chairmen.
Outgoing Internal Security and Provincial Administration Permanent Secretary Mutea Iringo, Transport Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho, Fisheries Secretary Japheth Ntiba, outgoing Kenya Railways Corporation CEO Nduva Muli, Kenyatta National Hospital CEO Richard Lesiyampe and Narok Gubernatorial loser Joseph Tiampaty were among the big names who overcame challenges to the nomination to get thumbs up from the parliamentarians.
Nduva and Lesiyampe who are nominated for the Transport and Environment dockets respectively were approved during the special sitting held on Tuesday morning.
In approving Nduva, MPs led by the Transport and Infrastructure Committee chairman Maina Kamanda (Starehe) exuded confidence that the nominee had displayed what it takes to modernise the country’s infrastructure.
Citing Nduva’s tenure at the railways, Kamanda said the nominee had managed to turn around the fortunes of the parastatal and said given a chance to be in charge of the whole transport sector, he was sure to take it to new height of profitability and order.
“This is the man who found Railways in ICU and put it in HDU. He might not have been able to get the patient walking but I am sure when he heads the sectors he will achieve it,” said Kamanda of the Transport PS nominee
In supporting Nduva for the job, MPs also said they will hold him to his pledge to terminate he will cancel the 25-year concession given to the Rift Valley Railways consortium, a South African company, if appointed the Transport Principal Secretary.
Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo told the House that Nduva had faulted the concessionaire for under delivering on the deal entered in 2006.
The governments of Kenya and Uganda through respective railway corporations engaged RVR in a deal that was meant to improve rail services.
“This concession was the worst corrupt deal of the NARC government. Mr Speaker Kenya Railways was sold for Sh1,000,” said Gem MP Midiwo.
The Consortium offered to pay initial fees of $3 million for Kenya, $2 million for Uganda, annual concession fees of 11.1 percent of gross revenues in each country and $1 million annually for the passenger services concession in Kenya.
Interior Ministry nominee Iringo and his Coordination of National Government counterpart Josephta Mukombe also got House support. But the debate on Mukombe suitability took centre stage to hit out at the EACC.
Nominated MP Issac Mwaura, kicked off the bashing session by calling the ethics team ‘busybodies’.
A phrase that has now become synonymous with any Constitution or public entity that rubs the MPs the wrong way.
“You and I Mr Speaker know there are those busy bodies that make wild and unsubstantiated allegations because of whatever reasons they might have,” he said.
The Committee on Administration and National Security chairman Asman Kamama (Tiaty) had told the House that the ethics team had told them that they were investing Mukombe over misuse of public funds allegations.
Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma congratulated President Kenyatta for incorporating people with disabilities in his governing structure and urged the House to ignore hurdles that have been placed in the Mukombe’s way and approve her.
“The president has walked the whole country and looked for this people, as the minority in the House I want to encourage you to accept this list because if they fail that is what we will use to hit you with,” said the Homa Bay MP.
At the same time, House team on ICT chairman Jamleck Kamau (Kigumo) said ICT nominee Joseph Tiampaty had pledged to drop his petition against Narok County Governor Samuel Tunai if he is given the PS’s position.
Others who were approved include: Fred Sego (Health), Kenya Power MD Joseph Njoroge (Energy), Kamau Thugge (Treasury), Peter Oganga (Planning), John Konchella (Devolution) and Ibrahim Mohamed (Trade), Richard Ekai Titus (Mining), James Tekoo (Water) Patrick Omutia (Sports,Culture and Arts) and Ali Noor Ismail (Labour, Social Security and Services).
Monica Juma (Defence), Mwanamaka Amani Mabruki (East African Community), Belio Kipsang (Education) and Colletta Suda (Science and Technology) complete the list of the nominees who will assume office after being sworn in a ceremony to be presided over by President Kenyatta.