Jubilee MPs approve nine CS nominees

Wednesday February 14 2018

Cabinet Secretary

Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary nominee Simon Chelugui responds to questions during vetting by the National Assembly Committee on Appointment on February 9, 2018. His nomination has been approved by MPs. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAMWEL OWINO
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Legislators allied to the Jubilee coalition unanimously approved the nine nominees for Cabinet Secretary (CS) position on Wednesday after their opposition colleagues boycotted the session.

The MPs had an easy time approving the names of the nominees after their opposition MPs stormed out of the chambers during debate on the report by the Parliamentary Appointments Committee, which conducted the vetting exercise.

The Nasa MPs had also boycotted the vetting exercise last week, insisting that they do not recognise the presidency of Uhuru Kenyatta.

They however showed up in Parliament only to storm out immediately debate on the report started.

The move gave Jubilee lawmakers a field day as they showered the nominees with accolades on how they are qualified to undertake their duties.

QUALIFICATIONS
They unanimously adopted the report of the Appointments Committee on the nine nominees who are now awaiting formal appointment by President Kenyatta.

The nominees are Margaret Kobia (Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs), John Munyes (Petroleum and Mining), Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs), Farida Karoney (Lands) and Peter Munya (East African Community).

Others are Simon Chelugui (Water and Sanitation), Rashid Achesa (Sports), Ukur Yattani (Labour) and Keriako Tobiko (Environment).

Despite questions raised concerning Mr Achesa’s academic qualifications, the Jubilee MPs dismissed the arguments, saying having good academic papers does not translate to performance.

PUBLIC SERVICE
Majority Leader Aden Duale said ability to perform was more important than academic qualifications.

“It is not about the PhD you have or the prestigious university one attends but about the ability of an individual to perform the duties he has been entrusted with,” Mr Duale said.

He praised Mr Achesa, describing him as the most dynamic nominee among the nine.

“The confidence the President has shown in this young man (Achesa) should be an eye opener to the young people outside there who are being misused by the opposition to just throw stones,” Soi MP Caleb Kositany said.

Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo urged the nominees to serve all the regions in the country.

EDUCATION
On Achesa, Mr Kilonzo urged the nominee to consider going back to school to further his education.

“I was impressed by Achesa’s performance during vetting but he should go back to school because the law might be changed and next time a degree will be required before one is appointed a CS,” Mr Kilonzo said.

There is no academic qualification for one to be appointed a CS.

The Jubilee lawmakers accused their Nasa counterparts of hypocrisy.

“It is embarrassing for Nasa MPs to walk out while they will be among the first people to go to the CS’s offices to seek favours,” Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege said.