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Integrity questions rise about William Ruto's nominees to the Cabinet

Cabinet Secretary nominees Aisha Jumwa (Public Service) and Mithka Linturi (Agriculture). [File, Standard]

Questions have arisen about the integrity of some of the nominees President William Ruto picked to his Cabinet.

President Ruto on Tuesday unveiled the 22 men and women for his Cabinet but he is now facing a backlash because some of the nominees are facing criminal charges.

Azimio la Umoja has given an indication of rejecting some of the nominees when the names are tabled in Parliament for approval.

There has also been a public outcry, with some people urging the president to revoke the nominations of those facing criminal charges. Public Service CS nominee Aisha Jumwa and Agriculture CS nominee Mithika Linturi have been arraigned for various offences.

In 2019, Jumwa was charged with the murder of Gumbao Jola in Ganda, Malindi Constituency, while Linturi was charged with attempted rape and is out on bond.

Besides the murder case, Jumwa is also charged with embezzling Sh19 million from the Malindi Constituency Development Fund.

Aisha and her co-accused are facing charges of conspiring and embezzling Sh19,007,539.60 allocated to NG-CDF Malindi Constituency by the national government for the construction of Sub-County Education office block. Jumwa and Mithika’s cases are ongoing.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said the nominations portend a dark future for the country.

 Wandayi said Ruto had ignored integrity questions and sacrificed ethics and accountability in favour of rewarding loyal cronies.

“Most of the nominees suffer acute financial and ethical deficit which the appointing authority is aware of but chose to ignore,” he said.

Even as Wandayi gave the assurance that they would give a fair hearing to all nominees, his statement sets the stage for a showdown in the House.

“They must know that there are a lot of questions about some of them and we will be asking those questions relentlessly,” he said.

The MP further called to question Ruto’s commitment to national unity, saying his nominations do not represent the face of Kenya.

“It shows clearly that the UDA administration still wants to continue splitting the country into its supporters and those who are not its supporters,” said Wandayi.

What remains to be seen is whether all the nominees will get Parliament’s nod.