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Kenya Parliament Committee to Vet Cabinet Nominees

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta takes the oath of office as his wife Margaret holds a bible during the official swearing-in ceremony at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, April 9, 2013.
Kenya’s parliament plans to form a committee Tuesday that will begin vetting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet nominees.

The committee will have two weeks to conclude the vetting process.

Justin Muturi, speaker of the National Assembly (parliament) is expected to be the chairman of the 28-member Select Committee.

The committee also is expected to include the deputy speaker as well as the majority and the minority leaders of the National Assembly, according to Aden Duale, majority leader in parliament.

The process of publicly vetting cabinet nominees will be the country’s first such procedure since Kenya gained independence in 1963.

Gideon Ochanda, a member of the National Assembly said expectations are high among Kenyans about the vetting of the nominees.

Officials say the vetting process could be broadcast live on television and radio, as well as on social media platforms.

“Now the committee meetings are public so it means the Select Committee might want to conduct particularly, maybe interviews, or the process of selection in public. It is allowed now,” said Ochanda.

He expressed confidence that the committee will be thorough in vetting the cabinet nominees.

“There is quite a bit of anxiety, partly caused by the time it has taken a bit longer before President Uhuru [Kenyatta] brings up the list. So, this has been upping up the excitement generally,” said Ochanda. “Besides that they will want to be very careful because the entire lot would have to be subjected to the Plenary of the House.”

Ochanda says parliament will consider information from the public about the cabinet nominees as part of the vetting process.

“The public can complain; they can bring in their own issues to the committee. The process is not very new to the country, because something related to this or closer to this we’ve been doing since last year for various appointments. [But] not necessarily the ministers,” said Ochanda.

Officials say Mr. Kenyatta will soon present his list of nominees to parliament to begin the vetting process.
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