Pick the best as diplomats

During the just-concluded National Assembly’s vetting of nominees to diplomatic missions, there were interesting happenings and revelations. Some of the people who have been chosen to represent the country as its envoys overseas are not up to scratch.

The interviews revealed shortcomings that cast light on the real intention of the appointing authority. Is it just about rewarding cronies or sycophants? But even then, there must be other people within that bracket who have an idea about what is expected and will not embarrass the country.

Commendably, the panel has raised questions on graft allegations and competence and evaluated the answers. It should clear only those who qualify for the postings. Kenya has a surplus of competent people who can serve in the positions.

The appointing authority can surely find some other positions for those who lack the qualifications, knowledge, expertise, exposure and experience required for the diplomatic jobs.

Even as the National Assembly’s Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees prepares a report to present to President William Ruto on the suitability of the nominees, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has flagged three of the 27 over integrity concerns. Those approved will go to some of the country’s most important missions, such as the UN headquarters, New York, and the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, DC.

Kenyans are fast losing confidence in the lawmakers’ vetting of nominees to public offices. This is because other considerations often come into play while meritocracy should be the first main consideration. The panel should be driven by patriotism and passion for public service efficiency.

The MPs should rise above political party differences and ethnicity to give the country the very best and not fear to drop any unsuitable nominee, regardless of external pressure.