NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has voiced “profound disappointment” with the National Assembly’s decision to reject the nomination of Monica Juma as Secretary to the Cabinet.
He said MPs spurned a public servant whose performance had consistently delivered professionalism, integrity and commitment to the duties of government and the wellbeing of Kenyans.
“The President’s nomination of Dr Juma was informed by the distinction and success she has earned in serving the nation as the Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, as the Defence Principal Secretary, and in her current position of Principal Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior and Coordination of National Government.”
President Kenyatta emphasised that Dr Juma led important reforms at the Interior Ministry, streamlining the functions of County Commissioners, and ensuring that grassroots government officials, such as chiefs, consistently received the funding they required to support their work.
“She was closely involved in the national government’s initiative to bring mobility to these public servants. She has also been at the heart of reforms in the Kenya Police Service, where she saw to the improvement of police mobility and welfare, as well as to the provision of equipment,” he said.
He said he was deeply disappointed that the National Assembly had chosen to reject a public officer whom it acknowledged as being highly qualified and competent, and who indeed represents Kenyan professionalism and dedication to service at their best.
“That action denies the President, and the nation, the service of an officer who would have been central to the Jubilee administration’s transformation agenda.”
Before rejecting her in a vote, MPs also threw out a request by House Majority Leader Aden Duale to extend the period of her approval by 10 days.
The legislators rejected Juma despite Duale and House Minority Leader Francis Nyanza rallying them to approve her nomination.
The chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security Asman Kamama explained that their recommendation was based on the fact that Juma displayed arrogance and insensitivity to the needs and concerns of the public and their elected leaders.
“The nominee lacked demonstrable passion to serve the public and their elected leaders,” the committee said.