Kenya: A joint committee of the Senate and the National Assembly has approved Joseph Boinett's nomination as Inspector General of Police.
This is despite at least seven MPs declining to sign the report final tabled simultaneously in the National Assembly and in the Senate yesterday afternoon.
Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba, Minority Leader Moses Wetangula (Bungoma), James Orengo (Siaya) and Nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro did also not sign the final report because they were absent.
"Having considered the suitability, capacity and integrity of the nominee, the committee recommends that Parliament approves the nomination and subsequent appointment of Boinett to the position of IG of the National Police Service," reads the report by the Joint Committee on National Security of the Senate and that on Administration and National Security of the National Assembly.
Majority of those who did not sign the report had questioned Boinett's academic qualifications. Those who did not sign despite being present during the final sitting include Humphrey Njuguna (Gatanga), Samuel Moroto (Kapenguria), Ali Shaaban (Lafey), Mohammed Shidiye (Lagdera), Protus Akuja (Loima), Ahmed Ore (Wajir West), Ibrahim Saney (Wajir North).
According to the report, 26 out of the 37 members approved Boinett's appointment as IG.
"The nominee has the necessary experience and qualification to hold the office of the IG of the NPS as per the requirements of the service Act," reads the report.
The MPs who did not append their signatures to the report argued that although Boinett's undergraduate degree from the Washington International University is recognised by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), it is not recognised in the US.
The committee indicated that it received a letter from the Commission for University Education regarding the validity of the degree and even invited the Chief Executive Officer David Some to shed light on the same.
"The committee was taken through the letter from the commission by Prof Some. We note that the Australian National University and the University of Westminster are recognised in their respective home countries," reads the report of the committee co-chaired by Senator Yusuf Haji (Senate) and Asman Kamama (National Assembly).
Boinett is reported to have informed the committee that he had obtained an online degree in International studies and Diplomacy from Washington University because he was stationed in Italy.
According to the report, there was also ample evidence that the President did not take into consideration the provisions of the law for fair competition and merit while nominating Boinett as IG.
This is in line with concerns raised by some senior officer that there are over 400 officers above his current rank.
However, despite signing the approval report, majority of the committee members have vowed to reject Boinett's appointment, stressing that the Constitution must be upheld.
"We are not going to support this appointment. The office of the IG is a very critical office that we cannot entrust anyone with questionable papers. He should have goodwill from his juniors from the onset," argued a legislator, who is a member of the committee.
Another legislator said that while they have no issue with Boinett's Masters degree, they are concerned that his undergraduate degree is not accredited in the US, the home country of the Washington International University.
"Security has been a major challenge in this country. The candidate for this position must be of high integrity and and duly qualified. This should not be about pushing anyone's person to the position. Kenyans must be satisfied by the process of," stressed a senator.
"You cannot acquire a Masters degree without an undergraduate degree," reads the report. The stage is now set for Parliament to ventilate on the report today and either adopt or reject the nomination of Boinett.
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