Kuppet cites interference, says names of those who were ranked highly in interviews were left out of final list
By Vitalis Kimutai
KENYA: Parliament has been urged to reject a list of nominees for the position of chairman and commissioners at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) when it is tabled before the House today.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) is claiming irregularities in the appointments, with Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia allegedly having interfered with the nomination process.
Kimemia will this morning be grilled by the Parliamentary Committee on Education on the matter.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) national chairman Wilson Sossion and Secretary General Xavier Nyamu have also voiced opposition to the list saying Parliament should reject it. “The fact that candidates who had been ranked fourth, fifth and seventh positions have been picked and forwarded to Parliament for vetting for the position of commissioners is a clear indication how wrong things have gone in this Government,” Kuppet’s Deputy Secretary General Moses Nthurima said.
Mr Nthurima added that the essence of interviewing candidates was to get the best to hold the advertised positions, but not to throw merit out of the window in favour of preferred candidates. “As a union, we have no problem with the individuals who have been shortlisted, but we are merely insisting that due process be followed in appointments,” Nthurima said. Dr Lydia Nzomo, who led in the interviews for the position of TSC chairperson, was not shortlisted for the position.
Nzomo, from Meru County, scored 80.3 per cent according to the score sheet by the interviewing panel, which The Standard obtained.
Instead, Mr Kiragu wa Magochi from Murang’a County, who came second with 73.3 per cent was picked by the panel, so was Mr Simon Kavisi from Kitui County, who came third with 70.1 per cent and Mr Mbarak Twahir from Mombasa County, who was fourth with 69.3 per cent.
The interviewing panel also skipped those who were ranked one to three in the position of TSC commissioners in what has kicked off a storm in the education sector with stakeholders demanding the list be redrafted.
Mr Fredrick Ochieng, who scored an average of 71.6 per cent out of a possible 100 and was ranked in fourth place, Mr Adan Abdullahi, who scored 70.3 per cent and Mr Kahindi Ziro, who was in the seventh position with 68.6 per cent, were picked by the selection panel for the position of commissioners. Ochieng is from Siaya County, while Abdullahi comes from Garissa County and Ziro is from Kilifi County. Mr Cleopas Tirop, the national chairman of Secondary School Heads Association who is from Uasin Gishu County was ranked first by the panel with 81.4 per cent, but did not make it to the list of nominees.
Dr Salome Gichura from Nyeri County came second with 78.7 per cent but did not also feature in the list to be tabled in Parliament, so was Mr Julius Jwan from Homa Bay County, who was third place after being awarded 71.8 per cent.
The same fate befell Saadia Kontoma from Wajir County who scored 69.7 per cent in sixth position.
Dr James Kamunge, a renowned educationist, Prof Henry Ayot, former Knut Secretary General Francis Ng’ang’a, Mr Ernest Wangai, Mrs Alice Muita, Ms Muthoni Kimani, Mr John Kipkorir, Ms Hellen Cheramboss and Mr Mohamed Mwinyipembe sat in the interviewing panel.
Mosop MP David Koech who is the chairman of the Parliamentary Education Committee revealed to The Standard yesterday that Kimemia had been summoned to appear before the committee this morning to explain the anomalies. “We have summoned Kimemia to appear before the committee as Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet to explain exactly what happened so that in the best interest of the country, we can find a solution to this matter,” Koech said.
He said the interviewing panel broke the law, as it did not publish names of nominees and how they scored for the public to scrutinise.
Names to Parliament
“Instead of publishing the names in the media, the panel forwarded the list to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who in turn did not consider merit when it came to proposing the names to Parliament,” Koech said. TSC selection panel had earlier been accused of flouting the law by advertising for four positions of chairman and three members instead of eight positions.
“What is the rationale of retaining five commissioners serving under the previous Constitution? This opens loopholes for people to move to court to challenge legality of constituting TSC,” MP Peris Simam said.