Parliament approves Ruto’s nominees for diplomatic offices

Fancy Too

The nominee for Kenya's Ambassador to Switzerland Fancy Too when she appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relation at County Hall on April 11, 2024.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The House rejected the nomination of Charles Githinji as consul General to Goma, DRC.
  • Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo said the list of nominees has a serious ethnic imbalance.

All the 25 nominees by President William Ruto to various diplomatic offices have sailed through Parliament with ease even as Members of Parliament called for regional balance in public appointments.

In approving the 25 envoys, the committee noted that the nominees met the integrity threshold, demonstrated knowledge of topical, administrative and technical issues touching on the positions to which they had been nominated and had the requisite abilities, academic qualifications and professional experience to be approved for appointment as High commissioners, ambassadors, permanent representatives and Consuls-General.

Although MPs approved the 25 nominees as High Commissioners, ambassadors, permanent representatives and consul generals, the House rejected the nomination of Charles Githinji as consul General to Goma, DRC.

The Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relation in its report tabled on Tuesday urged the House to reject the nomination of Mr Githinji as consul General due to lack of knowledge on the area to which he has been nominated.

“The nominee demonstrated a considerable lack of knowledge of the expected duties of a consul General and the station to which he had been nominated to serve in,” reads the report.

“The committee found that the nominee is not suitable to be appointed to serve as a consul general to Goma-DRC on the ground that he does not possess the requisite qualities, abilities, knowledge and experience,” reads the report.

However, Busia woman representative Catherine Omanyo supported Mr Githinji’s nomination terming him a hustler who dared to face learned people despite his not-so-illustrious academic credentials.

“This is the first time a hustler government has rejected its own hustler. Even if he could not define GDP, he should have been given a scholarship and represented the hustlers while at Goma because that was your vision,” Ms Omanyo said.

“The young man that I watched has a will and the adage prevails that where there is a will, there a will. I don’t know where this Githinji comes from but he was smart and had the audacity and courage to face the learned people in the committee, that is the hustler that President Ruto chose and we are here to support you” she added.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo said Article 132 of the constitution calls for the representation of the face of Kenya in all public appointments which he said was lacking in the envoys’ list and was never flagged by the committee in its report.

“The list has a serious ethnic imbalance. These positions must now be made competitive and people picked on merit so that we can get the best to represent our country,” Dr Amollo said.

Dr Amollo also faulted the committee on its recommendation on the recalling of previous consul Generals that had not been vetted, saying there is no such provision in the constitution.

“We have no powers to vet those that have already been appointed. The President can only recall them, cancel the appointments and appoint new ones which then we will vet before deployment,” Dr Amollo said.

Previously, Consul Generals were just posted abroad without vetting.

“The committee recommends that henceforth, Consuls-General should undergo vetting after their nomination by the appointing authority and that the appointing authority recalls serving consuls-General not vetted for vetting and approval by the National Assembly,” reads the report.

Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah however supported the committee’s recommendation on the recall of those not vetted warning those that who will not come back for vetting will be dropped.

“I support all the recommendations of the committee including the recall of the consul General that were never vetted. Those that will not heed this call have no business serving Kenyans,” Mr Ichung’wah said.

Samburu Woman Representative Pauline Lenguris called on the government to ensure that all appointments made represent the face of Kenya.

"I have never known why the top leadership in the country has seen the potential to give opportunity to people from Samburu County. We have never vetted a person from my community in this House 

“We want to remind the government that we also have competent men and women who have gone to school and can serve in these positions and represent the country well,” she said.