By Calvin Osiemo
In what seems to be a major setback to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Members of Parliament form Central Kenya considered to be loyal to the President have come out to justify their move rejecting Dr. Monica Juma’s nomination by the President to serve as Secretary to the Cabinet.
The MPs have faulted the president for trying to force his decisions on Parliament, saying that the National Assembly is an independent arm of the government from the Executive and therefore should not be used as a rubber stamp to approve decisions from the Executive without scrutiny. The 15 members of Parliament said the National Assembly has every right to accept or reject the president’s nomination. Dennis Waweru, the Dagorreti South Member of Parliament said that the executive and the National Assembly have well stipulated roles and the decisions made by Parliament are irreversible. He also said that despite the rejection of Dr. Juma, their support for President Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto come 2017 is still there.
“When the National Assembly has spoken then that decision is final,” said Waweru
Kandara Member of Parliament Alice Wahome said it is not wise for the president to control on what the National Assembly should do. Ms. Wahome claimed that one of the reasons the security house committee rejected Dr. Juma’s nomination was because she wanted to transfer the Ksh. 6 billion National police insurance cover from AAR to APA insurance. She went ahead to claim that Dr. Juma’s husband, Prof. Peter Kagwanja is a director at APA insurance. The claim has been refuted by Prof. Kagwanja.
Speaking to one of the local dailies, Prof Kagwanja who worked as an advisor to the Interior ministry until Dr. Juma was appointed to the office, said that Ms. Wahome and Kigumo Member of Parliament Jamleck Kamau are the ones behind Dr. Juma’s rejection.
“I am not an expert in insurance and I have nothing with insurance. I don’t know anything about APA. I am aware of the doctrine of conflict of interest. When my wife was appointed, I lost income because I immediately stopped my role. I went to the University of Nairobi where I teach PhD and Masters Students in the Institute of diplomacy to make up for the lost income,” Prof. Kagwanja said.
However, the decision by the National Assembly to reject the nomination was not final as the President would chose to retain Dr. Juma in her current position as the Principal Secretary or nominate her to another position in which she will not be required to undergo vetting.