All the 26 nominated Principal Secretaries approved

By Allan Kisia

Kenya: The National Assembly has approved all 26 Principal Secretary nominees.

However, nominee for the Fisheries docket Japheth Micheni Ntiba escaped the wrath of some MPs who wanted his name excluded in the list of those approved by the House.

Gladys Atieno from Homa Bay moved an amendment to a Motion to remove Ntiba from the list but her efforts were shot down by colleagues.

A report by the Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives committee chaired by Lugari MP Ayub Savula had requested the House to approve all the three nominees it vetted — Khadijah Kassachom (Livestock), Sicily Kariuki (Agriculture) and Ntiba.

Atieno’s amendment was seconded by Ugenya MP James Wandayi who said the public would judge MPs harshly for approving him.

“It is quite clear Ntiba does not qualify to be approved by this House on various accounts,” he stated.

Atieno said the nominee had some soul-searching to do and added that removing him from the list would do the country more good than harm.

Before presenting the committee’s report to the House, Savula said Wandayi had raised issues of concern with Ntiba’s candidature. “Issues raised touched on his institutional integrity and not him as an individual.”

Wandayi said Ntiba had continued to hold the position of Chairman of the Council of Presbyterian University of East Africa alongside that of PS in contravention of the provisions of Article 77(1) of the Constitution.

Divided vote

Savula said Ntiba had resigned from the university and tabled the resignation letter.

Atieno said during vetting, Ntiba kept evading questions on the courses being offered at the university. She said some of the courses were bogus.

“When we voted as a committee, four members dissented, one abstained and the rest approved,” he pointed out.

Josepheta Mukobe, the Co-ordination nominee, who Kenyans expected to have it rough in Parliament also survived. Mukobe was vetted by the Committee on Administration and National Security, which approved her appointment.

The committee’s chairperson Asman Kamama, however, said several issues came up concerning her suitability. He said the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating Mukobe but said they could not judge her because investigations are yet to be concluded. He noted that they took into consideration that Mukobe is a woman and disabled and consequently approved her. He added that Mukobe has very high academic qualifications and experience.