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Parliament to vet Cabinet nominees next week

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The vetting of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nine nominees to the Cabinet will take place on Thursday and Friday next week, Parliament has said.

In a notice in the Daily Nation on Wednesday, National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai also invited the public to submit their views on the nominees.

“Following the receipt of the nominations from the President on January 29, the Speaker has forwarded the names to the Committee on Appointments, which is mandated to vet and consider the suitability of the nominees for appointment and submit its report to the House for approval,” Mr Sialai said.

The submissions should be in the form of sworn affidavits and should be taken to Parliament before the end of the day on Wednesday, January 7.

Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi said despite the opposition refusing to attend the vetting sessions, Jubilee members were competent enough to conduct them.

“I want to assure the public that even if Nasa members will not attend, we will do our work competently and ask the hard questions that need to be asked,” Mr Muturi said.

He added: “We respect the decision of the opposition not to participate in the vetting process. It is their democratic right.”

Majority Leader Aden Duale downplayed the absence of Nasa MPs.

“We will do our work as per the Constitution,” he said.

National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi on Wednesday maintained that Nasa will not participate in the vetting of the Cabinet nominees, saying they did not recognise President Uhuru Kenyatta’s leadership.

Addressing journalists at his office, Mr Mbadi said he had already written a letter to the Speaker about the matter.

“I was called to attend the meeting but I declined since our position as the opposition remains that we don’t recognise President Kenyatta.”

The National Assembly last year approved a motion allowing the nominations to be forwarded to the Committee on Appointments without necessarily recalling the MPs for a special sitting.

Prof Margaret Kobia (Public Service nominee) will be first to face the vetting panel on Thursday.