The vetting of Cabinet Secretary nominees was concluded on Friday as remaining nominees who didn’t face the grilling panel on Thursday were put to the test. They included Keriako Tobiko, who is the nominee for the Environment and Forestry docket, Water and Sanitation nominee Simon Chelugui, Sports and Heritage nominee Rashid Achesa Mohamed, and Ministry of Labour and Social Protection nominee Ukur Yattani.
The first to face the Committee on Appointments led by Speaker Justin Muturi on Friday was Keriako Tobiko who defended his record in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, “The nature of the job of the DPP is not a solemn docket where everyone is happy about your decisions. Every decision you make for sure is going to be a crime and the easiest way to impune an independent office is to insinuate and throw allegations left, right and centre. My record speaks for itself in spite of those allegations,” said Tobiko. He said he will work closely with the Council of Governors and the County governments to resolve water management issues. He further said cleaning and restoration of the Nairobi river will be among his priorities.
CS nominee for Water Simon Chelugui, who was the second to face the vetting panel, affirmed that they’ll try to persuade Kenatys on the need to re-use waste water that has been treated especially for Agriculture, “Water is an enabler for the government’s Big Four Agenda. My desire is to give Kenyans wholesome, sufficient, and affordable water,” said Chelugui. He added that a few programmes are already underway in West Pokot.
Ukur Yattani, who is the nominee for the Ministry of Labour, was bold when he faced the panel and said he considers himself qualified for the job because of his academic background, work experience and his tenure as Governor. He was confronted with a question dealing with improvement of terms and conditions of service for police officers, and he said there is still a lot to be done, “There is a lot of improvement in terms of housing and remuneration for the police but that does not mean we’ve reached where we wanted to be, there is still a lot to be done,” he said.
On his part, CS nominee for Sports Rashid Achesa faulted the country’s failure to host the CHAN Championship, a failure which was met with disappointment countrywide, “Under my leadership, I will source for funds through the national treasury to ensure the stadia are complete so we can host future championships,” he said. The Sports nominee narrated his passion for boxing, saying he played for Mumias and was later approached by the Kenya Prisons as a boxer. If approved, he said he will withdraw his position from his company, given that the Sports Ministry is a very busy docket. Asked how he would ensure talent is fully utilized in the sports sector, he said he will revive academies, “I will ensure that the talent academies are revived and have all sports, football and athletics,” he affirmed. The Committee on Appointments will now retreat to prepare a suitability report to be tabled in parliament.