Minority side MPs: Why we rejected Jumwa and Linturi

Public Service and Gender CS nominee Aisha Jumwa (L) and her Agriculture counterpart Mithika Linturi were the two Cabinet nominees that eight out of 21 MPs rejected during vetting. [File, Standard]

Minority side MPs of the Committee on Appointments have said they rejected Aisha Jumwa and Mithika Linturi’s nomination to Cabinet over integrity concerns.

The Majority side, made up of 13 MPs, however, approved the two.

President William Ruto nominated Aisha Jumwa for the Public Service and Gender ministry, while Mithika Linturi was picked to serve as the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture.

The National Assembly’s Committee on Appointments is made up of 21 members. They are Moses Wetang'ula, Gladys Boss, Kimani Ichung'wah, Opiyo Wandayi, Owen Baya, Robert Mbui, Junet Mohamed, Abdul Rahim Dawood, David Gikaria, David Pkosing, Dido Ali Raso, Ferdinand Wanyonyi, Mishi Mboko, Stephen Mule, Naisula Lesuuda, Mary Emaase, Abdi Shurie, Caleb Amisi, George Gitonga Murugara, Nelson Koech and Rahab Wachira Mukami.

The Minority side that rejected Jumwa and Linturi are Opiyo Wandayi, Robert Mbui, Junet Mohamed, David Pkosing, Naisula Lesuuda, Mishi Mboko, Abdi Shurie and Caleb Amisi.

“They (dissenting MPs) noted that the basis for the rejection of two nominees was premised on integrity questions, contrary to the clear provisions of Chapter 6 of the Constitution. The members were of the firm view that Chapter 6 of the Constitution was put in place by Kenyans at Constitution-making, well aware of the highest standards of ethics and morality they needed to see in holders of public offices.

“According to the [dissenting] members, Kenyans did not do so in ignorance of the principles of presumption of innocence and fair hearing. The intention of the people of Kenya was that the standards of holding a public office be so elevated to a level that simple allegations tainting the office would warrant an automatic disqualification, notwithstanding any judicial finding on criminal culpability on the part of a nominee.”

On Jumwa, the dissenting MPs said she allegedly shot someone on October 15, 2019, in Kilifi County. Jumwa has since applied to be turned into a State witness.

“The [dissenting] members said that they hold the strong view that the principle of presumption of innocence until one is proved guilty should never apply in situations of appointment to a high public office such as the Cabinet of the Republic of Kenya,” said the report.

On Linturi, the dissenting MPs rejected him because of academic certificate questions, claims of forgery and malpractice.

A screengrab of the report on why a section of the committee rejected Mithika Linturi.

“The members observed that the Committee had questioned the authenticity of Linturi's alleged University of Nairobi (UoN) law degree, noting that the institution had sought to discontinue Linturi over allegations of forgery of documents,” said the report, which also linked Linturi to other cases including attempted rape and forgery.

The only other nominee to be rejected unanimously by the MPs was Peninah Malonza saying she did not demonstrate an understanding of the Tourism ministry that she had been picked to lead as Cabinet Secretary.

Besides the three, the remaining 21 Cabinet nominees were approved.

They are: are Musalia Mudavadi (Prime Cabinet Secretary), Simon Chelugui (Cooperatives and MSME’s), Prof. Njuguna Ndungu (Treasury), Aden Duale (Defence), Moses Kuria (Trade), Justin Muturi (Attorney-General), Eliud Owalo (ICT), Ezekiel Machogu (Education), Kipchumba Murkomen (Transport), Prof. Kithure Kindiki (Interior), Davis Chirchir (Energy), Mercy Wanjau (Secretary to the Cabinet), Ababu Namwamba (Sports), Dr. Alfred Mutua (Foreign Affairs), Rebecca Miano (East African Community), Alice Wahome (Water), Florence Bore (Labour), Soipan Tuya (Environment), Salim Mvurya (Mining), Susan Nakhumicha (Health) and Zachariah Njeru (Lands).

The entire National Assembly will, on Tuesday evening, October 25, vote to endorse or reject the Committee on Appointment’s recommendations.