, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 11 – Francis Ole Kaparo was on Thursday appointed as Chairperson of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Kaparo replaces Mzalendo Kibunjia who was the first chairman of the Commission tasked with building cohesion in the country and to monitor and prosecute cases of hate speech.
During Kaparo’s approval hearing, MPs questioned if his association with Deputy President William Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP) might make him biased in undertaking his duties.
But Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga assured the House that Kaparo had already resigned as URP chairman.
President Kenyatta also appointed seven commissioners, including former Cabinet Minister Morris Dzoro, Commission on Administration of Justice Director Belinda Akoth Ochiel, Irene Njeri Wanyoike, Adan Abdi Mohammed, United Nations Development Program Peace Building and Conflict Prevention Unit team leader Roba Sharamo, Joseph Wamocha Nasongo and Professor Gitile Naituli.
The Chairpersons of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the National Gender and Equality Commission and the Commission on Administrative Justice will also serve as commissioners on the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.
In July, Parliament approved and forwarded 15 names to the President for appointment.
The NCIC has been without commissioners since September 2013, when the terms of the team, then headed by Mzalendo Kibunjia, expired.
The NCIC was one of the institutions formed after signing of the National Accord between former President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga following the 2007 disputed presidential election.
The Commission is mandated with promoting and advising the government on equal opportunities, good relations, harmony and peaceful co-existence among communities.