In Summary
  • Duale says the Constitution gave the President the power to reassign a Cabinet secretary.
  • He said a change in the presidency does not affect the tenure of the Cabinet secretary.

The opposition and the ruling party are headed for a clash over the vetting of nominees to the Cabinet, with the National Super Alliance demanding fresh interviews for ministers retained.

National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi on Monday said the nine nominees must be subjected to scrutiny by Parliament and questioned the basis of an assertion by his Majority counterpart Aden Duale that there was no need for that.

FIRST TERM

President Uhuru Kenyatta retained six Cabinet secretaries from his first term and named three fresh ones, who have to be approved by lawmakers before they are formally appointed.

Mr Mbadi said the six should be vetted, arguing that because President Kenyatta had taken the oath of office for a second time, he was setting up a new Cabinet.

“I am a third term MP. Every time I go for election, I am vetted and every time I win, I have to take a fresh oath of office,” the Suba South MP said.

“Is it not a serious level of ignorance when someone says incumbent Cabinet secretaries, once reappointed, cannot be vetted and cannot take a fresh oath of office?”

After meeting American ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, the National Assembly Minority leader said Mr Duale’s position was a demonstration of the poor quality of legal advice the President and his team get from Attorney-General Githu Muigai.

Mr Mbadi’s stand could form the basis of debate in the National Assembly when the report of the Committee on Appointments is tabled later this month after the vetting and public questioning of the nominees.

OPPOSITION

The opposition has, however, locked itself out of the vetting since it has not submitted its membership to the committee.

Mr Mbadi said the opposition would not be involved in vetting of ministers because “we do not recognise President Kenyatta’s legitimacy”.

The National Assembly approved a motion before the December break allowing the President’s message on his nominations to go straight to the committee

That also allowed vetting to start with an invitation to the public to submit views on those nominated.

State House was last evening yet to submit the nominations and the portfolios assigned to the new faces — Mr John Munyes, Mr Ukur Yattani and Mr Keriako Tobiko — to the National Assembly despite a promise to do so.

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