NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) has advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to freeze his government’s recent, controversial, appointments of parastatal heads.
In a public advisory, the commission chair Charles Nyachae recommended this action in particular for the parastatals whose mandates could clash with the functions devolved to the county governments.
“This will forestall conflict of mandates between county governments and some State corporations,” the advisory reads.
A freeze, Nyachae went on to advocate, would also allow President Kenyatta to give in-depth consideration to the cost cutting measures proposed by the Presidential Taskforce on Parastatal Reforms.
“In view of the need to restructure government to accord with the Constitution including respect for the constitutional principle of prudent use of scarce public resources, the commission believes it is prudent for government to take into account some of the recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce on Parastatal Reforms before reconstituting the Boards of existing institutions,” it recommended.
The Commission further advised President Kenyatta against appointing his political cronies as parastatal chairmen given it contravenes Articles 10 and 73(2) of the Constitution which demand that the appointments be based on fair competition and merit.
“The process of appointment must be visibly transparent and accountable and must not be based on political considerations, favouritism, nepotism, improper motives or corruption. The overall motive of the appointment should be to promote good governance,” the advisory states.
It also stated that the appointments should further reflect the one-third gender principle, accommodate the disabled and reflect the diversity of the Kenyan people.
“All appointments must demonstrate representation of Kenya’s diverse communities and must be seen to afford adequate and equal opportunities for (i) men and women, (ii) members of all ethnic groups, and (iii) persons with disabilities as required by paragraphs (h) and (i) of Article 232(1),” the Commission stated echoing the National Gender and Equality Commission.
The appointments attracted criticism from various quarters on the grounds that the greateer majority of the parastatal heads President Kenyatta appointed were losers in the general election.
The appointment of former Presidential contender Abduba Dida as Chairman of the Constituency Development Fund Board even had to be revoked as it hadn’t been approved by Parliament in contravention of the laid out procedure.
It then emerged that President Kenyatta had been, “mislead,” into making the appointment.
“It should not happen and I am sure that even those people who made the President do the signing of the gazette notice without proper diligence must be asking themselves questions and we will also be asking them very hard questions,” he defended raising the question of who is running government.
The National Authority for the Campaign Against Drugs and Alcohol Abuse (NACADA) Chairman John Mututho was appointed in a similar fashion before the President revoked the appointment after the backlash that came from Parliament owing to the fact that he had not been vetted by Parliament as required by the Constitution.