Home News Mudavadi first-off the blocks in parliamentary vetting

Mudavadi first-off the blocks in parliamentary vetting

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[Prime Cabinet Secretary Nominee, Musalia Mudavadi. Photo/courtesy/Oct' 17, 2022].

Prime Cabinet Secretary nominee Musalia Mudavadi faces the National Assembly Committee on Appointments today (Monday).

He is the first nominee to be vetted by Parliament in President William Ruto’s list of 22 nominees for Cabinet positions in the proposed Kenya Kwanza Structure of Government.

Mudavadi has since thanked President William Ruto for having faith in him and nominating him to such a high office in government. Mudavadi termed his nomination as not only an honour, but more so as a high calling in the service of the people of Kenya.

Political Analysts opine that if approved, Mudavadi is the right fit-for purpose for that office since he will be the linkage between the Executive and the Legislature in ensuring that the policies of the Kenya Kwanza Government are fully actualized through legislation.

“The docket of Prime Cabinet Secretary entails coordination, evaluation, monitoring and implementation. As designated, it will be the fulcrum upon which delivery of public services will be measured, and therefore where upon public trust will be cultivated,” said Dr Alutalala Mukwana.

“Character is key in terms of how one delivers on the assigned task. Musalia Mudavadi has been known to be a safe pair of hands, humble, trustworthy, a focused leader and diplomatic. These are key attributes for effective delivery of the job at hand. Musalia Mudavadi is the best bet for coordination,” said Prof Peter Kagwanja.

The assignment

Under the Executive Order No.1 of 2022, President William Ruto clearly designated the roles for the holder of the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary including handling the Government Delivery Unit. Other than assisting the President and the Deputy President in the co-ordination and supervision of Government Ministries and State Departments, key roles for the Prime Cabinet Secretary include;

Liaising with Ministry responsible for Interior and National Administration in overseeing the implementation of National Government policies, programmes and projects together with chairing and coordinating National Government legislative agenda across all Ministries and State Departments for transmission to Coalition Leaders in Parliament.

Mudavadi will also be tasked with chairing the Principal Secretaries Committees and supervising the technical monitoring and evaluation of Government policies, programs and projects.

On Thursday last week, the Leader of Minority side in the National Assembly, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi raised concerns alleging unconstitutionality of the Office on a matter that the Speaker of the National Assembly who Chairs the Committee on Appointments will rule on before the vetting exercise commences.

Mudavadi’s Spokesperson Kibisu Kabatesi has, however, rubbished sentiments by Wandayi stating that clear guidelines are entrenched in the Constitution on the creation of public offices and the Executive Order No. 1 of 2022 by President William Ruto on the Structure of his Cabinet suffice.

“The issue of unconstitutionality does not arise because the President has the prerogative to structure the cabinet in the manner he deems fit.  There are clear provisions in the Constitution and the National Government Coordination Act that guided the President. The Executive Order No 1 of 2022 is clear on the portfolio,” said Mr Kabatesi.

Constitution

Legal and Constitutional experts state that Article 132(2) (a), Article 132 (3) {b} and {c} of the Kenyan Constitution confers authority on the President to direct and co-ordinate the functions of Ministries, State Departments, and State Agencies under which his powers as the President lie in the process of appointing Cabinet Secretaries.

“Pursuant to Article 131(1)(b) and 132(3)(b) of the Constitution the President may assign the responsibility of discharging any functions of national executive to any person in accordance with the law. What is required of the President he publishes such a decision on how he intends to execute this requirement in the gazette, hence Executive Order No. 1 of 2022,” said Lawyer Nick Biketi.

“Mudavadi is one person committed to Kenya’s Nationalism. He is statesman and he has demonstrated the virtues of being able to work with everyone in leadership. He was Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate in 2002, he worked under President Mwai Kibaki as a Deputy Prime Minister to Raila Odinga meaning that he worked with Raila and now he is ready to work with President William Ruto. Notably he worked under the Late Retired President Moi,” added Professor Peter Kagwanja.

“Now that President William Ruto is the one carrying Kenya’s dream especially the resuscitation of the economy Mudavadi is a person to be trusted tapping into his experience he has a Pan Kenyan vision” stated prof Kagwanja.

Pursuant to Articles 131&132, the incoming President has executive authority to craft his new government. He did so through Executive  Order No.1 of 2022, so the Executive Order creating  Musalia Mudavadi’s office  of Prime Cabinet Secretary is therefore hinged on this  and analogous Constitutional provisions according to Kagwanja.

“The period of campaign mischief is over and Hon Opiyo Wandayi ought to settle down in his role as the Minority Leader in the National Assembly and focus on substantive matters of National Importance. Petty jealousies don’t fit his stature,” added Kabatesi.

Analysts further point out that if approved by Parliament, Mudavadi’s return to the Cabinet in such a plum and influential position elevates him to the saddle of the undisputed Political Supremo from the larger Western Kenya region. President Ruto’s government is expected appears keen in bolstering government relationship with the Western Kenya natives moving forward.

The one-time Finance Minister, Mudavadi promises that a Kenya Kwanza government would prioritize revamping the economy and lowering cost of basic items.

It was during his stint at the Exchequer that he initiated the Kenya Revenue Authority while his stint at the Transport docket was marked by the liberalization of the communications sector, a move that led to the emergence of the numerous radio and TV stations and the split of the Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC), a move that opened doors for the birth and growth of entities like Safaricom, Airtel among others.

For 18 years, Mudavadi served in the Agriculture, Finance, Transport, Information and Broadcasting as well as Local Government in addition to serving as Vice-President and Deputy Prime Minister in-between.

Other Key nominees to be vetted today include former Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi who is the nominee for the position of Attorney General, Aden Duale (Defence), Alfred Mutua (Foreign and Diaspora Affairs) and Alice Wahome (Water, Sanitation and Irrigation).