, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – The nominee for Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestry Keriako Tobiko says during his tenure, there will be no sacred cows and anyone found violating environmental laws will be dealt with accordingly.
Speaking before the Committee on Appointments on Friday, Tobiko further stated that there is need to impose legal obligations on political leaders within counties in a bid to enforce environmental issues.
He also said that if approved, he will work very closely with the Council of Governors and the county governments to resolve waste management issues
“Environment is life. There is no life without environment. When we talk about the other sub-sectors, we are talking about marine resources, seas and oceans; that is environment. We are talking about air, the biosphere and atmosphere that is environment. In short environment is the planet that God created,” he said.
He stressed that the cleaning and restoration of the Nairobi River will be top of his priorities but emphasized the need for massive mobilization on the initiative.
“One of the things I will do as a priority is conduct an audit of all legislation that have been enacted in the last Parliament and before and getting an implementation status,” he said.
Tobiko also explained that the affidavit challenging his nomination has no basis and stressed that he was hearing about it for the first time.
He stated that he affidavit by Elizabeth Wambui is baseless, lacks facts and urged the panel to disregard it.
He said that there is a clearly laid down procedure that needs to be followed should any member of the public feel aggrieved by his decisions.
“The police file was processed and decision made to charge by the officer in charge of the Thika office. There was no prior reference, there was no direction from me personally or the head office and there was no need for that anyway because county offices have their own autonomy. There was no complaint made to me.”
While defending his tenure as the Director of Public Prosecutions, Tobiko also stated that he has worked with NEMA and Kenya Forest Services, to help them prosecute more environment crimes with great success.
“I am extremely grateful to his excellence the President for the high honour, trust and confidence and I hope that if approved, I will give it all to ensure that I assist the President on his Big Four agenda for all Kenyans,” he asserted.
He observed that his record speaks for itself and that his integrity cannot be disputed in spite of the allegations brought against him.
Tobiko stated that his main goal while in office will be to ensure that he plays a key role in delivering President Uhuru Kenyatta’s agenda for Kenyans.
He noted that during his tenure, he will ensure that Kenya takes advantage of its environmental capital especially through international forums and conferences aimed at conservation of its natural resources.
He said he will also use laid down guidelines on environment together with treaties to take the ministry a notch higher.
“In my LLB thesis, I wrote on land and produced a seminal dissertation on land and group ranches in pastoralist areas and this thesis has been cited in court cases, in learned papers and publications,” he stated.
He explained that as the Director of Public Prosecutions, he worked closely with environmental stakeholders and through his active involvement helped in the reduction of wildlife crimes.
“We have an entire chapter of our constitution dedicated to environment. We have a whole sectoral law dealing with environment, regulations, treaties and conventions. There cannot be a better person to take the Ministry to the next level than a lawyer,” he stated.
Tobiko was followed thereafter with Simon Chelugui who has been given the Water and Sanitation docket and the morning session concluded with the questioning of Ukur Yattani who will be in charge of Labour and Social Protection.
In the afternoon the appointments committee will finish off with the vetting of Rashid Achesa Muhamed who is the CS nominee for Sports and Heritage.