Sources in State House have admitted that President Uhuru Kenyatta is facing a dilemma over the recent parastatal appointments that are turning controversial.
According to the reliable sources, a senior official in State House went ahead and advised the President to make the appointments without taking the legal implications into account.
“That person was advised not to forward the names to the President but it was like they succumbed to pressure and did just that. I don’t know what will happen next,” said the source.
Among the notable names whose appointments are raising debate is Abduba Dida who was appointed the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Board Chairman and Samuel Poghisio, who was named the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Chairman.
Dida’s academic credentials and the process of his appointment without Parliament’s involvement have been questioned, while Poghisio’s appointment should have been made through an open and competitive process.
The appointment of The National Alliance Secretary General Onyango Oloo as the Chairman of the Lake Basin Development Authority has also met criticism owing to the fact that he still holds and plans to remain a party official.
Deputy President William Ruto, while speaking on Citizen TV’s Cheche show on Wednesday morning, said that the officials behind the ‘mess’ would be held to account.
“It should not happen and I am sure that even those people who made the President do the signing of the gazette notice without proper diligence must be asking themselves questions and we will also be asking them very hard questions,” said Ruto.
The National Authority for the Campaign Against Drugs and Alcohol Abuse Chairman John Mututho was appointed in a similar fashion before the President revoked the appointment after the backlash that came from Parliament owing to the fact that he had not been vetted by Parliament as required by the Constitution.
The source however said that whether or not the President would cave in to the public pressure was uncertain.
Our sources also explained that the appointments were made using the State Corporations Act which governs all public bodies including the Constituency Development Fund without considering the arising legal bottlenecks.
This locked out public participation which is unconstitutional and allowed the President to appoint public officials without seeking Parliament’s approval which is also unlawful.
“The CDF Act is more superior to the State Corporations Act so the appointments should not have been made under it. It is actually illegal to invoke the State Corporation Act,” revealed the sources.
The CDF Act would have allowed public participation and removed the confusion that followed the gazettement of Dida’s appointment.
While the Act gives the line Cabinet Secretary (Planning and Devolution’s Ann Waiguru) the responsibility of appointing the Board’s Chairman and gazettement of the names, the State Corporations Act gives the President overriding mandate.
Waiguru had gazetted Dida’s name on December 24, last year, but about seven days later on December 31, the President gazetted the same name.
And on January 3, this year, Waiguru revoked her gazettement.
This means Dida remains the Chairman of the CDF Board just as the other chairmen remain the heads of their institutions.