Mandera County legislators have unanimously adopted a report approving nomination of ten members for executive positions, almost a year after rejecting the same.
Humbled MCAs agreed that the reasons that led to rejection of the same list of nominees in November 2017 have since changed.
But as the MCAs approved the list, the High Court barred them from forwarding the approved list to Governor Ali Roba.
"I wish to bring to your attention that as we carry out our duty today, there is a court order barring us from forwarding our report to the governor," said Mr Mohamed Khalif.
HIGH COURT ORDER
Mr Simba Hasheem, a political activist, moved to Marsabit High Court seeking a rejection of the nominees based on the previous report.
"These same people were vetted and rejected by the assembly and the law does not allow re-submitting of the same list for consideration," argued Mr Hasheem.
The Public Appointments (County Assemblies Approval) Act of 2017 states that where the nomination of a candidate is rejected by a county assembly, the appointing authority shall submit to the County Assembly the name of another candidate.
The Act further says a nominating authority shall not resubmit the name of a candidate whose nomination has been rejected by the county assembly unless the circumstances relied on for the rejection of the appointment of the candidate did not exist or ceased to exist at the time of rejecting the nominee.
"We rejected this list because of the political situation we were in then but that has since changed and we have to approve it now," said Mr Yukub Hassan, Darkale MCA.
Minority Leader Jimale Abdi Hassan while presenting the report said the same list was rejected last year because the nominees did not demonstrate appropriate knowledge and understanding of their respective portfolios.
The nominees were also rejected after the committee on appointment established that some were unable to exonerate themselves from accusations of mismanagement, misappropriation of public resources and abuse of public office. This was raised in several petitions tendered by members of public.
The committee reported that it erred in recommending rejection of all the ten on integrity grounds and that it has sufficiently established that none of the nominees was under investigation for mismanagement of public funds or integrity by any investigating agencies.
"The nominees have never been charged in any court of law with any offence and they have provided clearance documents from government agencies proving that none is under investigations," said Mr Hassan.
Mr Hassan said unlike in November, the committee on appointment did not receive any petition against any of the nominees.
Takaba Town MCA Bishar Maalim Abdullahi, while supporting the adoption of the report, said the nominees were victims of circumstances.
"These nominees were unfairly rejected and the political animosity consumed them but that has come to pass and we have to form a government," he said.
He said a mismatch by the governor of the nominees' academic qualifications and the respective departments was not a determinant when approving or rejecting the list.
Lagsure MCA Robow Mohamed said that even national government Cabinet secretaries do not serve in ministries matching their professional qualifications.
"We have Mr Eugene Wamalwa, a lawyer, in the Ministry Devolution, Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri, an educationist is heading the Ministry of Agriculture among others. We cannot have people heading departments based on their academic professionalism," he said.
Governor Ali Roba while re-submitting the same rejected list to the assembly on June 26, said the purpose of vetting and approving the nominees was not to reject them but to confirm whether they upheld constitutional values and principles.
"I maintain that the nominees met all the requirements of the law but I have made a few changes and realignment in my list of nominees," stated Governor Roba in a letter to the assembly dated June 26, 2018.
To address the mismatch as raised by MCAs while rejecting the list, Governor Roba moved Dr Mohamud Adan Mohamed from Trade, Investment and Industrialisation to department of Health.
Mr Ahmed Sheikh was moved from Health department to Public service, Conflict Management and Devolved Units as Mr Abdiaziz Maad was moved to Trade, Investment and Industrialisation from Public Service.
Other approved nominees include Mr Ibrahim Barrow for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Adan Hussein for Lands, Housing and Physical Planning, Mrs Shamsa Mohamed Haji for Gender and Social Services.
Mrs Johora Mohamed was retained in the Department of Agriculture and Livestock as Mr Izzudin Abdi was approved to head Education, Sports and Culture.
Water, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources department will be managed by Mr Mohamed Ali Omar and Mrs Sulekha Harun will head the Roads and Transport docket.
Nominated MCA Sokorey Maalim said Mandera is at peace politically hence the need to form a government quickly.