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Uhuru nominates Roseline Odede to chair National Commission on Human Rights

By Elvince Joshua | Dec 29th 2021 | 2 min read

 Kenya National Commission on Human Rights nominee chair Roseline Odhiambo Odede. [Photo, Courtesy]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has nominated Roseline Odhiambo Odede as the chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).

Odede, an Advocate of the High Court, is the former Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board Vice-Chairperson.

Four other nominees to KNCHR, who will serve as members if approved by the National Assembly, are Marion Wanjiku, Raymond Sang, Sarah Bonaya and Dennis Wamalwa.

The nominees were recommended to the president by a seven-member selection panel.

The panel, sworn into office in October, was made up of Jasper Mbiuki, Mary-Anne Njau, Regina Mwatha, Kenneth Ombongi, Akhonya Mutubwa, Habiba Mohammed and William Ogara.

The names of the nominees have since been forwarded to the National Assembly for vetting and possible approval.

Parliament has 28 days to accept or reject the respective nominations.

MPs are, however, on recess, and the vetting exercise could delay until the last week of February 2022.

The counting of the period specified in Section 8 of the Public Appointments Act will start upon resumption of the regular sittings of the House and its departmental committees on January 25, 2022.

“That being the case, the statutory timeline will lapse on Tuesday, February 22, 2022. In this regard, I hereby refer the message relating to appointments to the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs to undertake the necessary approval hearings,” said Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi on Wednesday, December 29.

Upon resumption of its sittings, the committee is expected to undertake the necessary approval hearings and submit its report to the House before Tuesday, February 15, 2022 to enable the House to consider the proposed appointments within statutory timelines.

The nominee for KNCHR chairperson, Roseline Odede, applied for one of the four IEBC commissioner positions recently, but wasn’t successful in the July 2021 interviews.

In January 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Wafula Chebukati as the chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), though it was rumoured that Odede had emerged top in the interviews, but was not selected.

“It is true that I was interviewed and emerged with the highest score. I cannot tell why I was not picked, anything I state would be merely speculative. I am aware the chairperson is picked by the president from two names forwarded to him, so it is not a given that the top performing candidate gets the job. I am also a strong believer, and I asked God that if it is His will, I would get the opportunity, so I believe it was not God’s will for me,” she told The Standard in an interview in early 2017.

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