National Assembly starts vetting of Cabinet nominees

National Assembly in Session on October 6, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The vetting of President William Ruto's 22 Cabinet nominees will officially start today at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi with each candidate allocated an hour before the Committee on Appointments.

ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi who has been nominated Prime Cabinet Secretary will be the first to appear before the committee at 9am and run through to 10.30 am.

A section of Azimio MPs have insisted that the post is illegal and as it has no roles provided for in the Constitution.

Last week, shortly after the vetting schedule was released by Parliament, the Committee on Appointments held its first sitting where the constitutionality of the position took centrestage.

Minority Leader Opiyo Wandani said the Opposition would not participate in the vetting of Mudavadi as the position is not provided for in law and faulted the president for creating unlawful positions.

The Constitution only acknowledges the president and his deputy.

"The issue is that the position is unconstitutional and my concern is how does an institution vet a person to hold an unconstitutional position?" He posed.

But Mudavadi’s spokesperson Kibisu Kabetesi said the appointment is above board and in line with the law.

"The issues of unconstitunality does not arise because the president issued an Executive Order Number 1 which provides the structure of government and therefore you cannot contest any appointment within the Executive Order without nullifying the order in its entirety," he said.

The president said Mudavadi will oversee the government projects and among others coordinate the national legislative agenda.

Political analysts opine that if approved, the ANC leader is suitable for the office since he will be the linkage between the Executive and the Legislature in ensuring that the policies of the Kenya Kwanza Government are fully actualised through legislation.

Former National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi will come in next to be vetted for the Attorney General position.

Should he get the approval of Parliament, Muturi is expected to take over from Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki who was sworn in in 2018. 

At 11.30am, Garissa township MP Aden Duale who is the Defense CS nominee will take the stand.

Duale who will take over from CS Eugene Wamalwa and will oversee the ministry and chair the defense council.

Former Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua who is Foreign Affairs and Diaspora CS nominee will appear before the committee at 2.30pm.

Dr Mutua who ditched Azimio for Kenya Kwanza during the campaign period, will be grilled on how well he will represent the country in international community as he will play a key role in determining the country’s foreign policy.

He will be taking over from Rachelle Omamo.

The last nominee Kandara MP Alice Wahome, is scheduled at 3.30pm. If approved, she will take over the Water, Sanitation and Irrigation docket which was held by Sicily Kariuki who resigned to vie for Nyandarua governor seat but later dropped out in favour of former Governor Francis Kimemia of Jubilee party.

Last week, Kenya Kwanza and Azimio MPs vowed to focus on Chapter Six of the Constitution on Integrity in the vetting process.