Kenya

Peter Munya displays his diplomatic side to MPs

Peter Munya Photo:Courtesy

The vetting of Cabinet nominees was not without its light moments as candidates sought to convince the panellists they were the right people for the job.

The absence of Opposition MPs from the Committee on Appointments vetting the nominees may have denied the panel that spark that has always lit up vetting sessions. However, yesterday's had its fair share of fun that kept the MPs on the edges of their seats.

Combative former Meru governor Peter Munya, known not to allow anyone to stand in his way, sought to portray himself as a diplomat.

Contrary to what most of the MPs expected, Mr Munya remained calm as he asked them to approve his nomination as Cabinet Secretary for East African Community and Northern Corridor Development.

Munya has served with most of the MPs on the parliamentary committee. 

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"I am actually very diplomatic and you know this. However, you also know that diplomacy does not necessarily mean being polite," said Munya.

The one-time fierce critic of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto also caused laughter as he deconstructed a petition challenging his nomination.

The petitioners have accused Munya of impropriety when he served as governor. However, the former county boss dismissed the petition as malicious and only meant to tarnish his name ahead of the vetting.

"These allegations were not made sincerely or in good faith. These are imaginations someone has taken too far. Surely, this petitioner who comes all the way from Kakamega County cannot pretend to know a lot about Meru County, and must be dismissed,” Munya said.

Legislators seeking more humor by asking irrelevant questions were quickly dismissed by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, who chairs the committee.

Such was the case when Laikipia West MP Sarah Korere asked Lands nominee Faridah Karoney's views on the Government decision to shut down local TV stations for airing live the 'swearing-in' of Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

"Ignore that," Muturi interjected. "It has nothing to do with this process. We must observe the rule of relevance here."

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Ms Karoney, a renowned figure in the media industry, had a warm reception from former colleagues. Also on hand to receive her were Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan and Murang'a Woman Representative Sabina Chege, who are part of the 19-member team.

For journalist Karoney, it was a case of reversed roles as she sat on the receiving end of the questions.

Foreign Affairs nominee Monicah Juma impressed the MPs with her understanding of diplomacy. She will be hoping not to go through her 2013 experience, when MPs declined her nomination to the Cabinet.

 

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