Jubilee-nominated senator Isaac Mwaura has backed calls by the opposition to have the Cabinet secretaries retained by President Uhuru Kenyatta subjected to vetting like the new ones.
Mr Mwaura told Inooro TV, which broadcasts in the Kikuyu language, that he sees no basis for the argument by Majority Leader Aden Duale that the retained Cabinet secretaries should not be scrutinised by MPs.
He argued that because President Kenyatta has started a fresh term, the old Cabinet Secretaries should be interviewed the same way an employee is interviewed if they seek a new position.
“By the end of the day, I don’t want to agree with the views that they should not be vetted,” said Mr Mwaura.
The former ODM MP scoffed at the Opposition’s assertion that it would not be involved in vetting because it does not recognise the legitimacy of Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency.
“Whether they recognize him or not is useless because they are also beginning to realize it is going nowhere. They are already in committees and they are seeking leadership positions,” said Mr Mwaura.
National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi on Monday questioned the rationale behind the assertion that the six retained would not be subjected to vetting.
Mr Mbadi said the six should be vetted, arguing that because President Kenyatta had taken the oath of office for a second time, he was setting up a new Cabinet.
“I am a third term MP. Every time I go for election, I am vetted and every time I win, I have to take a fresh oath of office,” the Suba South MP said.
“Is it not a serious level of ignorance when someone says incumbent Cabinet secretaries, once reappointed, cannot be vetted and cannot take a fresh oath of office?”
Mr Duale said the Constitution gave the President the power to reassign a Cabinet secretary and did not fix a term limit, meaning that those retained continue working without reaffirming their allegiance to the country and their jobs.
He said the law shows how a Cabinet minister can assume office or resign and gives the President the power to reassign or dismiss them.
Mr Duale added the law mandates the President to dismiss a minister if the House passes a resolution to that effect.
“From this reading, it becomes apparent that upon approval for appointment by the House, a Cabinet secretary serves at the pleasure of the President unless he or she resigns or is dismissed,” the Majority Leader said.
“He or she may also be reassigned within the Cabinet.”
The Garissa Town MP added that the approval of a Cabinet secretary was not limited to a particular portfolio but to the office.