The Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani yesterday appointed former Othaya Member of Parliament Mary Wambui as the chairperson of the National Employment Authority.
In a Gazette notice dated October 14, 2019, the CS picked the former legislator for the job triggering reactions from Kenyans.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 10 (1) (a) of the National Employment Authority Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection appoints—Mary Wambui Munene to be the Chairperson of the National Employment Authority, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 14th October 2019,” read part of the notice.
The appointment of the former legislator left many Kenyans seething in anger, expressing dissatisfaction with the manner in which state appointments are being dished out to what KOT terms as ‘political rejects.’
Nairobi-based lawyer Donald Kipkorir posted on his twitter page: “Mary Wambui was working at KANU office before I began school. That she is old, didn’t go to school & isn’t known for any business employing people are self-evident truths. To make her Chair of National Employment Authority in digital age, Jubilee must be trying Dark Humour.”
Another user, Victor Mochere mocked the state appointments by giving a list of beneficiaries believed to have been recycled.
He posted: “Dear Uhuru Kenyatta…these are the youth you have employed so far: 1. Moody Awori - 91 2. Francis Muthaura - 71 3. Chris Obure - 75 4. Matu Wamae - 79 5. Beth Mugo - 79 6. Musikari Kombo - 74 7. David Musila - 75 8. Marsden Madoka - 75 9. Esther Murugi - 65 10. Mary Wambui – 69.”
And Jim Kitch Langat urged President Uhuru to avoid soiling his legacy with such appointments, and he compared presidency to Eliud Kipchoge’s pathway to winning the INEOS 1:59 challenge.
“Dear President Uhuru Kenyatta… honestly, what type of legacy do u keep dreaming about? A legacy requires a team just like Kipchoge needed 41 pacesetters to make the Ineos 159 a reality. These pacesetters of urs will not help u achieve any legacy but make u the worst President. Mary Wambui?” he posted.
However, some users apparently were not aware of the existence of the National Employment Authority as a state organization, let alone being conversant with its mandates.
A user calling himself Clement Police said: “For me, the shock is that there is an animal called National Employment Authority and yet I have never heard of them at all till the appointment of the legend governing party activist. Like if you don't know this animal like me Retweet if you know it.”
And another tweet from ODM leader Raila Odinga’s son, Raila Odinga Junior read: “Am I the only person who's never heard of National Employment Authority. Before I start to complain about the chair appointment, (like a good KOT) just what do they do? Honestly.”
What is the National Employment Authority?
NEA was formed pursuant to the National Employment Authority Act of 2016. Its mandate entails receiving full details of all employees from employers in the country in regard to adherence to the Employment Act No. 11 of 2007.
Such entails entail names, age, sex, occupation, date of employment and nationality. The details are filed every calendar year.
Same old story
This is not the first time Kenyans have aired their frustrations on State appointments. On December 6, 2018, President Uhuru was forced to defend his appointment of former vice president Moody Awori as a member of the Sports, Art and Social Development Fund Board.
Uhuru said his decision to pick the 91-year old politician was based on the desire to have an honest person who is not scandalous for the position.
“I could see yesterday in different platforms people complaining about my choice of a 91-year old Awori to look after the youth’s sports fund; the people complaining should put themselves in my shoes,” he said.
“If you see how young people we have trusted with positions steal public money, its rather I appoint somebody like Awori whom I am sure will protect your money to ensure intended developments and services get back to the people. People should stop making noise and let me do my work,” he added.
Just early this month, the president pulled another shocker when he reappointed Francis Muthaura as Kenya Revenue Authority board chairman for a three-year term.
This also led to backlash as most critics felt that Mr Muthaura is too old and has no energy left, therefore younger person ought to fill that position.
Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta also appointed the husband of the late former Bomet Governor Dr Joyce Laboso Edwin Abonyo, as a member of State Corporations Advisory Committee in the same notice issued yesterday.
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