Nairobi: Vetting of Sakaja cabinet nominees to start Tuesday

Sakaja Cabinet

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja during the unveiling of County Executive Members on October 26, 2022 at City Hall.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

Nairobi MCAs will on Tuesday commence the vetting of Governor Johnson Sakaja’s cabinet nominees after the High Court dismissed a case challenging the nomination.

The new development moves Governor Sakaja a step closer to having his 10-member cabinet in place more than three months after taking over as City Hall boss.

The Labour court on Wednesday dismissed the application thereby lifting a conservatory order suspending the approval process until the hearing and determination of the case.

Nairobi County Assembly Clerk Edward Gichana, in a public notice, will be vetted in a one-day marathon with each of the 10 nominees given just 45 minutes to convince the select Committee on Appointments of their suitability to hold the dockets they have been nominated for appointment to.

The nominees include Stephen Mwangi (Built Environment and Urban Planning), Michael Gumo (Innovation and Digital Economy), Brian Mulama (Talent, Skills Development and Care), Patrick Mbogo (Mobility and Works) and Charles Kerich (Finance and Economic Affairs).

Others are Ibrahim Auma Nyangoya (Boroughs Administration and Personnel), Rosemary Kariuki (Business and Hustler Opportunities), Maureen Njeri (Green Nairobi – Environment, Water, Food and Agriculture), Anastacia Nyalita (Health, Wellness and Nutrition) and lastly Suzanne Silantoi (Inclusivity, Public Participation and Customer Service).

“Now therefore, pursuant to the provisions of section 7(4) and 7(5) of the Public Appointments (County Assemblies Approval Act 2007), notice is hereby given to both the nominees and the general public on the resumption of approval hearings to be undertaken by the County Assembly’s select Committee on Appointments in Charter Hall, County Assembly Wing, City Hall Buildings on Tuesday December 6, 2022,” read in part the notice dated December 3, 2022.

Governor Sakaja had submitted the names of his nominees to the county assembly on October 26, 2022 for approval.

The names were subsequently committed to the Select Committee on Appointments by Speaker Ken Ng’ondi, who is the chairperson of the committee, the following day for vetting and reporting.

However, before the vetting process could commence on November 14, the ELRC on November 9, 2022 granted ex-parte conservatory orders suspending the approval process pending the hearing and determination of an application lodged before the court.

The decision by the Court followed an application by the Association of Muslim Lawyers and the Nubian Rights Forum.

The lobby groups argued that the list of the nominees was not representative as no individual from the Islam group was shortlisted yet they contribute 30 per cent of Nairobi City County’s GDP.

However, Governor Sakaja, through lawyer Dancan Okatch, that the governor has the discretion and liberty to nominate and appoint anyone as a County Executive Committee Member as long as the person has met the qualifications required for the position.

He urged the court to lift the orders as operations at City Hall are crippled because he does not have an executive committee of his own.

Last month, the Nairobi County Public Service Board interviewed 128 individuals shortlisted for Nairobi County chief officers’ positions.

The Board is expected to submit a final list to Governor Sakaja who will then submit his preferred names to the county assembly for vetting by relevant sectoral committees before approval or rejection by the MCAs.