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Parliament looks to pass Uhuru's PS, ambassadorial nominees

By Moses Njagih | Published Sun, February 25th 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 24th 2018 at 22:24 GMT +3

National Assembly’s departmental committees vetting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nominees for Principal Secretaries and ambassadorial duties are racing against time to prepare their reports for tabling in the House this week.

The committees retreated to various locations on Friday, working over the weekend, before presenting their reports in respect of each nominees to the House, which will ultimately determine the fate of the candidates.

The Defence and Foreign Relations Committee chaired by Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito was the busier of them, conducting a marathon two-day vetting exercise for nine of the 19 nominees whose names had been sent by President Kenyatta to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

Approved all nominees

After vetting Ambassador Macharia Kamau for position of PS in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the committee also considered suitability of seven former Cabinet Secretaries offered a soft landing in foreign missions.

Yesterday, sources told Sunday Standard that they had approved all nominees despite a majority of them exhibiting little knowledge on diplomacy.

“It was obvious that a good number are green on matters diplomacy, but we opted to give them the chance,” a committee member said.

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National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale said the House will debate the reports from the departmental committees before heading for a short recess on Thursday.

“We have to do so as Wednesday is actually the 14th day after their names were sent to Parliament. We are constitutionally bound to consider their suitability by then,” said Duale.

Former CSs headed to represent Kenya abroad include Jacob Kaimenyi (Unesco), Cleopa Mailu (UN in Geneva) and Judith Wakhungu (France).

Stern stance

Others are Dan Kazungu (Tanzania), Phylis Kandie (Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union), Willy Bett (India), Hassan Wario  (Austria) and outgoing  State  House  Comptroller  Lawrence Lenayapa (Netherlands).

Macharia, who has had a long career in the United Nations, impressed the committee with his stern stance on the mistreatment of Kenyans in South Sudan, undertaking to ensure this stops.

Macharia had complained that many Kenyans have been tortured in South Sudan, despite Kenya investing heavily in the stability of the country.

“We host tens of thousands of refugees here from South Sudan. We feed and clothe them, yet they treat us inhumanly in their country.

“This is unacceptable and I won’t stand for it,” Macharia told the committee.

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