The National Assembly’s departmental Committee of Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations has begun the vetting of the 27 persons nominated by President William Ruto to serve as Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Permanent Representatives of the Republic.
The committee this week started the process by inviting four of the 27 nominees to appear before the team to respond to questions on their suitability and qualifications for the job.
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The four who appeared before the Committee on the first day of approval hearings were Jane Wairimu Ndurumo (Pretoria, South Africa), Isaac Keen Parashina (Abuja, Nigeria), Janet Mwawasi (Kigali, Rwanda) and Peter Munyiri (New Delhi, India).
Members of the committee led by chairperson Nelson Koech interrogated the nominees on their academic qualifications and professional competence for the job, as well as their individual knowledge of the different destinations they have been nominated to for appointment.
The Committee also ascertained the nominees’ clearance by the relevant institutions including the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) and Office of the Registrar of Political Parties.
Members sought to know from the nominees any public offices they had previously held and also asked them to declare their wealth and net worth, including deferred income and outside commitments and tax status.
During the vetting, Ndurumo pledged to strengthen trade ties between Kenya and South Africa, if given the nod by the Committee and the National Assembly to serve as Kenya’s Ambassador to Pretoria.
Parashina, who is presently the Deputy Head of Kenyan Mission to Tel Aviv, Israel, said he would entrench trade, security and diplomatic ties between Kenya and Nigeria if approved to serve as Kenya’s Ambassador in Abuja.
He also said he would entrench deeper collaborations between the creative industries of both nations to allow Kenyan youths in the creative industry to tap into Nigeria’s well-established Nollywood film industry.
Mwawasi, told the committee that if approved for appointment she would use the position as Kenya’s Ambassador to Rwanda, to foster efforts for integration of the larger East-African Community.
On his part, Munyiri, said that he would, if approved for appointment, work closely with the Ministry of Trade to close the gap in the balance of trade between Kenya and India.
He also rooted for deeper collaborations on healthcare between the two countries, to help Kenya tap into India’s advanced health technology.
Koech, who is also the Belgut MP, told the nominees that the committee would retreat to interrogate their responses against their credentials before drafting the approval report to be tabled in the House.
“Should the committee require any more information from you, including sworn affidavits, you should be ready to avail the same as we conclude this process,” said Koech.
The vetting continues with four nominees slotted each day in the process expected to be concluded on Thursday 2nd November, 2023.
The committee is subsequently expected to table its Report on or before November 8, 2023, to enable the House to consider the matter within the statutory timelines.