The vetting of CS nominees kicked off on Thursday as various nominees appeared before the Committee on Appointments led by Speaker Justin Muturi in parliament. The first nominee to appear before the panel was Margaret Kobia, who was nominated to head the docket of Public Service, Youth, and Gender affairs. She said the work she has done at the Public Service Commision (PSC) speaks for itself, including coming up with human resource policies that governed the entire public service shared by the Counties. She said during her tenure, the whole commission has been restructured to be more effective and even pointed out that she is one of the most decorated public servants in the country, thus, highlighting her qualifications.
The second nominee to be vetted was former Turkana Senator John Munyes, who was confronted with the issue of petroleum in Turkana. The former Senator had opposed the bill that allocated 5% of funds generated from the petroleum mining to the community, 20% for the County, and the rest for the investor and national government, “My thinking that time was to harmonize,” he said, adding that he will take up the duty of negotiating with the community at present if he gets the CS position. Moreover, he said he is ready to work with current Governor Josphat Nanok even though they were on opposing sides during the political run in, “If I’m given the position, I’ll shake Nanok’s hand. Licensing is done by the Governors, and the moment I don’t agree with any Governor it means I don’t want the mining industry to forge ahead,” said Munyes.
On her part, the Foreign Affairs CS nominee Monica Juma was faced with the problem of protection of Kenyan workers’ rights in other nations. Among other challenges faced by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, is the issue of Kenyans in situations that mirror slavery in other nations, and the CS nominee pointed out that the Foreign Affairs Ministry is well placed to handle these issues, as discussions with other countries are ongoing to secure the lives of Kenyans, “There has been a lot of work especially by the Labour Ministry to create vetting processes for agencies. We have also negotiated the right agreement of protection and we have looked for lessons in other countries, including the Philippines,” she said, adding that in the last one year, about 707 Kenyans have been brought back to the country.
Other nominees to face the vetting panel on the first day were Lands CS nominee Farida Karoney, and former Meru Governor Peter Munya, who was scheduled to face the vetting hot seat as the last entrant for the day.