8 May 2013

Kenya: Cabinet Vetting Thursday Despite CORD Threats

Photo: The Star
Parliament building: Parliament to vet cabinet nominees as planned despite CORD walking out.

Nairobi — Vetting of the 16 nominees to the Cabinet is expected to kick off on Thursday at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) despite a threat by the Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) to boycott House committees.

Leader of Majority Coalition in the House Aden Duale and fellow Committee on Appointments (COA) member Jamleck Kamau (Kigumo) said that the vetting will go on as planned.

A section of CORD MPs in the Committee on Appointments attended a meeting at Parliament Buildings which is aimed at looking at memorandums on the nominees from the public.

"We will be looking at which of the memoranda we can carry and those which do not meet the criteria laid out in the Public Appointment Act," Duale said when asked about the objective of the meeting.

The House Committee on Appointments is responsible for vetting r Cabinet Secretary nominees.

"If Parliament fails to dispose of this matter on Tuesday by the rise of the House, those nominees will stand appointed by the President," the House Majority Leader added.

Capital FM News has learnt that CORD had not written to the Speaker indicating the intention to pull out of the committee due to the wrangles surrounding the composition of the Parliamentary Investment Committee (PIC) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno and Suba MP John Mbadi further said they had not withdrawn membership to other committees that have already been constituted.

Devolution and Planning nominee Anne Waiguru, Defence nominee Raychelle Omamo and Foreign Affairs nominee Amina Mohammed will appear before the committee during its morning session.

Education and Science and Technology nominee Jacob Kaimenyi and the National Treasury nominee Henry Rotich will appear during the afternoon session.

On Friday, Health nominee James Macharia will appear before the committee at 9am, followed by Transport and Infrastructure nominee Michael Kamau at 10.30am. Judy Wakhungu, Environment, Water and Mineral Resources nominee will be vetted from noon.

Land, Housing and Urban Development nominee Charity Ngilu will go before the committee at 2.30pm while Information, Communication and Technology nominee Fred Matiang'i will be vetted from 4pm.

On Saturday, Sports, Culture and Arts nominee Hassan Arero will be the first to appear before the committee at 9am.

He will be followed by Energy and Petroleum nominee Davis Chirchir who will be vetted from 10.30am and then Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries nominee Felix Koskei at noon.

Industrialisation and Enterprise Development nominee Adan Mohammed will go in at 2.30pm followed by East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism nominee Phyllis Kandie at 4pm. Mining nominee Najib Balala will conclude the vetting exercise when he appears before the team at 5.30pm.

According to the Parliament's Standing Orders, the Committee on Appointments will hold an approval hearing and notify the candidate and the public of the time and place at least seven days in advance.

The committee will then prepare a report taking into account the public input and table it in the House within 14 days. The House will then debate the report before approving the nominees.

If a nominee is rejected, the motion will be deemed to have been lost. The President will then have to replace affected slot and send the name to the Speaker.

The motion will require a simple majority to pass in the National Assembly after which the president can formally appoint the nominees. They will then be sworn in office as Cabinet Secretaries.

Laban Wanambisi is a Parliamentary and Political reporter. He joined the Capital Newsteam in 2005.

Since then, he has reported on many of the major news events over the years including his first major assignment covering the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution, and several other subsequent key national and international events.

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