The team vetting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nine nominees to the Cabinet starts its meetings to write its report to the National Assembly Saturday morning, leaving two steps to their approval or rejection by MPs.
Speaker Justin Muturi, chairman of the Committee on Appointments, said the team would meet Saturday and Sunday and if necessary Monday to write up its report and make recommendations ahead of the resumption of the National Assembly on Tuesday.
On the second day of vetting, the nominees laid out their credentials and attempted to beat away claims lodged against them.
Former Director of Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko cited achievements during his tenure in the job, his academic credentials and experience in private practice as reasons he is a good fit for secretary for Environment and Forestry docket.
Asked why he left his post as the first DPP under the new Constitution and he did not go for something presumably higher, he said: “I have been behind closed doors with very minimal ground interaction. This offers me the greatest opportunity to be out, to be visible and to do actual work. I have been in these line ministries for too long. It is time to change course.”
His nomination had been challenged by a Thika woman who has been charged once, acquitted and is now facing another charge and the former DPP said he had not handled that case personally.
Simon Chelugui, the nominee for the Water ministry, similarly rebutted allegations by a former client of a borehole-drilling firm he once headed.
Ukur Yattani, the nominee for Labour and Social Protection, promised to ensure that the National Social Security Fund Act of 2013 is implemented if he is appointed.
The move could see the tenure of Central Organisation of Trade Unions boss Francis Atwoli and Federation of Kenya executive director Ms. Jacqueline Mugo as members of the National Social Security Fund board of trustees come to an end.
Mr. Rashid Achesa, the CS nominee for Sports and Heritage was the last to appear before the panel.
Though he had difficulties responding to questions asked by committee members and sometimes appearing to refer answers from the many writing and printed materials he had, he promised to ensure that he will build talent academies in all the 47 counties.
He also dismissed an affidavit Esther Kabura had filed against his nomination saying it was a political witch-hunt. Ms. Kabura, 43, a widow, had claimed that Mr. Echesa had conned her of three luxury cars worth Sh12 million.