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President nominates Rev. Samuel Kobia to chair hate speech agency NCIC

Former Speaker of the National Assembly Kaparo (centre) chairs a session of former commissioners. /CFM-FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has nominated Reverend Samuel Kobia to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).

Rev. Kobia is a Methodist clergyman and the first African to be elected General Secretary (2004–2009) of the World Council of Churches, a worldwide fellowship of 349 global, regional and local churches representing a Christian population of over 590 million people.

In 2010, Rev. Kobia was appointed Ecumenical Special Envoy to Sudan by the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).

The 72-year-old beat a list of 7 prominent persons which included former Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende, former KenyaN envoy to Nigeria Francis Sigei to head the agency which was established to realize long lasting peace, promote cohesion and sustainable development.

Members nominated to the agency include Samuel Kona, former Rangwe MP Phillip Okundi, Peris Wambui Nyutu, Abdulaziz Ali Farrah, Danvas Makori, Fatuma Tanyara, and Dorcas Kedogo, according to a statement seen by Capital FM.

The names will now be forwarded to the National Assembly for vetting.

The process of replacing the Chairman and Commissioners of the NCIC commenced after the term of the current office led by Francis ole Kaparo expired in September 2018.

The Public Service Commission was forced to carry out fresh recruitment after the High Court in January agreed with activist Okiya Omtatah who had filed a petition to stop Parliament from hiring of NCIC commissioners.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany ruled that the role of Parliament is limited to vetting candidates who have been cleared for appointment by the Executive.

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Parliament had shortlisted 54 candidates to fill the eight vacant positions at the NCIC and set interviews for November 12-14, 2018 before the court suspended it.

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