By Calvin Osiemo
In a heated debate chaired by Speaker Justin Muturi, members of the National Assembly rejected Dr. Monica Juma’s nomination as the Secretary to the cabinet. Dr. Juma who has been serving as the Interior Principal Secretary was set to be replaced by Major General (rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa who is awaiting vetting by the National Assembly.
The Committee on Administration and National Security chaired by Tiaty member of Parliament Asman Kamama which vetted Dr. Juma, in their report indicated that Dr. Juma displayed arrogance and insensitivity and was not able to state clearly her milestone achievements during her tenure at the Defense and Interior ministries. Dr. Juma had earlier written to clerks of the National Assembly asking them to stop members of parliament from making a lot of visits to her office in a bid to seek appointments and transfers for friends and families and this is said to have contributed to her rejection by the house members.
“The nominee lacked demonstrable passion to serve the public and their elected leaders” read in part the committee’s report.
Majority Leader in the National Assembly, Aden Duale faced a harsh reaction when House members booed him for over 10 minutes. Duale urged the MPs to give a listening ear to the minority who have a constitutional right to have their say heard. He called upon the members of Parliament not to rush to the matter. Duale proposed a 14 day extension for Dr. Juma’s consideration for the job but the MPs rejected the proposal. 152 MPs voted against the proposal while 50 voted in favor of the proposal.
Supporting the rejection of Dr. Juma, Gatanga Member of Parliament Humphrey Njuguna said that since the MPs are the representative of the people, Dr. Juma’s letter to the clerks blocking MPs from her office shows that she is not ready to work for the people and a clear indication of rejection of the people.
“MPs represent sovereign power of the people and when we go to her office, it is to represent that power. Our committee went through the whole motion of vetting her but only dark smoke emerged. There was never the white smoke,” said Njuguna.
Members of Parliament caused a tantrum when they threatened to stop house business from proceeding which gave Speaker Justin Muturi a hard time controlling the tumult.
“The majority will always have their say and the minority has their say,” said speaker Muturi.
This comes as a big blow to President Kenyatta even as Kenyans on Social media took to twitter and other platforms in support of Dr. Juma nomination, accusing the National Committee on Security and National administration of being dishonest and upholding mediocrity in place of competence in their rejection of the nominee.