MPs clear Uhuru’s Cabinet nominees as NASA boycotts

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Nominee Amb.Dr. Monica Juma pray during the vetting process [Boniface Okendo, Standard]
Members of Parliament yesterday unanimously cleared President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nine Cabinet nominees, consequently paving the way for their appointment.

The Jubilee-dominated National Assembly approved each of the nominees through acclamation in the afternoon sitting that was boycotted by MPs allied to the National Super Alliance (NASA).

The MPs' nod now gives Uhuru the go-ahead to appoint nominees Margaret Kobia (Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs), John Munyes (Petroleum and Mining), Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs), Farida Karoney (Lands), and Peter Munya (East African Community) to serve in their various dockets.

Others to be appointed to the Cabinet are Simon Chelugui (Water and Sanitation), Rashid Echesa (Sports), Ukur Yattany (Labour), and Keriako Tobiko (Environment).

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Echesa's academic qualifications dominated the debate, with Jubilee MPs defending him, saying one did not require academic papers to discharge duties as a Cabinet secretary.

The legislators gave the example Njenga Karume, whom they said performed well despite not having formal education.

The vetting report notes that Echesa studied in Shibale Primary School but provides no further education qualifications.

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“He attended Shibale Primary School from 1990 to 1997. Due to his humble background and challenges of school fees, he was not able to continue with his education,” reads the report

Locked out

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Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo (Independent), however, challenged Echesa to go back to school to avoid being locked out from such positions in the future should an academic requirement be introduced.

 “I'm impressed by Echesa but let him take time and go back to school and study while working,” said Kilonzo.

Majority Leader Aden Duale, who moved the motion, said the job was not about academics but the ability to perform the task.

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