Speaker Moses Wetangula suspends vetting of Principal Secretary nominees

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula arrives for plenary sitting on Tuesday, November 16, 2022. He has suspended the vetting of Principal Secretary nominees until further notice. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula has suspended the ongoing vetting of Principal Secretary nominees until further notice.

The Speaker has also asked Departmental Committees who had already concluded the vetting process on some candidates to halt any activity relating to the House on the proceedings.

Additionally, he has directed a Litigation Counsel to seek ex-parte orders.

“Thereafter the proceedings will resume subject to the direction of the courts,” Wetangula said in a statement Wednesday. 

His directive came a day after Labour Court Judge Nzioki wa Makau stopped the vetting of the nominees until a case filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) is heard on November 21, 2022.

LSK had filed a petition on November 11, 2022, challenging the list of PS nominees. They argued that the list lacked gender, tribal and regional balance.

"That from the list of nominees, the nomination does not take into account the regional and tribal balance, the two-thirds gender principle, persons living with disabilities and the youth contrary to the tenets of good governance,” reads court documents.

“On the impugned list of 51 interested parties, 13 are members of the Kalenjin community from Rift Valley region, 13 from Central Kenya region to the detriment of the other 40 tribes and communities in Kenya."

President William Ruto nominated 51 Principals Secretaries to various State Departments on November 2, 2022.

The vetting of the Principal Secretaries started on Monday, November 14.

Nominees who have already been vetted are; Chris Kiptoo (National Treasury), Julius Korir (Cabinet Affairs), Raymond Omollo (Interior), Julius Bitok (Citizen Services), Aurelia Rono (Parliamentary Affairs), Harry Kimutai (Livestock Development), Peter Tum (Medical Services), Korir Sing’oei (Foreign Affairs), Patrick Mariro (Defence), Roseline Njogu (Diaspora Affairs), Abdi Dubart (East African Community) and Betsy Muthoni Njagi (Blue Economy and Fisheries).

Others are; Gitonga Mugambi (Irrigation), Paul Ronoh (Water and Sanitation), Alfred K’Ombundo (Trade), Abubakar Hassan (Investment Promotion), Juma Mukhwana (Industry), Patrick Kiburi Kilemi (Cooperatives), Josephine Mburu (Health Standards and Professional Management), James Muhati (Economic Planning) and Esther Ngero (Performance and Delivery Management).