MPs shouldn't let voters down on vetting of CSs

Parliament Buildings during the opening of the 13th Parliament, Nairobi on September 29,2022 [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Following the opening of Parliament last week, MPs are laying the groundwork for the vetting of President William Ruto's nominees for the Cabinet Secretary (CS) positions.

The process is supposed to root out those who do not meet the mark in terms of academic qualifications and integrity, among others, and give the nod to only those who do.

This is an important exercise that ought to be carried out with diligence and patriotism. Only those who fit the bill should be cleared for the appointment. Such a task calls for sober heads; people of integrity whose only interest is to ensure that all those cleared are without blemish.

However, that is rare as our lawmakers tend to make decisions based on the standpoints of the political outfits that sponsored them to Parliament. No wonder Kenya Kwanza MPs have vowed to use their numerical strength to ensure Dr Ruto's nominees are cleared.

On the other hand, Azimio MPs have said promised to put fight to block nominees with integrity issues. That is the right thing to do.

MPs must be reminded that they are not elected to be mere rubber stamps. They were chosen from among many because voters believed they were intelligent and wise enough to represent their interests - and not support blindly the prescriptions of the president or their parties.

Presidents do make mistakes too. It is highly unlikely that all the president's 22 CS nominees are people of integrity. If there is evidence of corruption or any other form of criminality on the part of any nominee, it is the work of MPs - whether Azimio or Kenya Kwanza - to reject them. That is what the Constitution expects of them, that is what we pay them to do.

The vetting process therefore must not be turned into a contest between Azimio and Kenya Kwanza. It should be used to give Kenyans the best CSs; men and women of integrity who will not milk our coffers dry; qualified, experienced and committed people who will help build a better Kenya. Blindly doing their party's bidding will mean MPs do not value their critical roles in the first place.