MPs can continue with PS nominees' vetting, court rules

Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetangula consulting former Acting Clerk of the National Assembly Serah Kioko. [File, Standard]

The High Court in Nairobi has allowed the National Assembly to continue with the vetting of 51 principal secretary nominees.

Justice Nduma Nderi ruled on Tuesday, November 29 that a petition challenging the process was prematurely filed.

The judge said Parliament ought to be allowed to complete the process, and an aggrieved party can thereafter file a suit.

On November 16, Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetangula stopped the vetting of PS nominees in compliance with a November 15 court order.

More than 20 PS nominees, including Raymond Omollo (Interior), Julius Korir (Cabinet Affairs), Julius Bitok (Citizen Services), Dr Josephine Mburu (Health Standards), Chris Kiptoo (National Treasury), Patrick Mariro (Defence) and Alfred K’Ombundo (Trade), were among those who had been vetted by MPs before the exercise was suspended.

There are 44 committees in the 13th Parliament, including 24 select committees and 20 departmental committees, that vet the PS nominees.

Before its suspension, the vetting was to take place between November 14 and November 18.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) had filed a petition seeking to stop the process, arguing President William Ruto did not factor in regional balance and gender equity.

The LSK, in their papers filed before Justice Nzioki Makau, said the provision of two-thirds gender rule, persons living with disabilities, and the youth was also not considered in the process of nomination.