PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta has sent the names of his likely nominees for Cabinet to the National Intelligence Service for background checks.
NIS will check with the Kenya Revenue Authority to ensure that the proposed nominees are tax compliant as well as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to ensure that they are not corrupt.
Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto want to prepare a list that will not have problems in Parliament when they present it for vetting.
They do not want nominees to have ongoing cases or investigations related to corruption or abuse of office.
Some past ministers and politicians have already been disqualified for involvement in scandals including the running of the Constituency Development Funds.
“There are at least four senior politicians who were ministers in the grand coalition government that the president and the deputy president have already struck out of their initial list out of their questionable past in running of public affairs. A number of Permanent Secretaries who were to be promoted will also be shocked,” a senior government official said.
Speaker Justin Muturi and MPs have already warned that the National Assembly will not rubber-stamp the nominees and those on the list should be prepared for thorough vetting.
Uhuru and Ruto have already prepared a list of 19 Cabinet Secretaries including six women but have eight names spare in case some of their nominees are rejected.
The Constitution requires them to select a minimum of 14 Cabinet Secretaries and a maximum of 22.
They are likely to announce the Cabinet nominees with some youthful and new faces on Monday, the day before Parliament reconvenes on Tuesday.
“There are some names that keep on being mentioned in the media. Very many of them especially current ministers will be surprised when the list is out. They (Uhuru and Ruto) have concentrated on experience and knowledge instead of political patronage. It is a delicate balancing act,” said a senior Jubilee member.
Parliament will start sitting on April 16 and one of its first duties will be to set up various House committees. The Committee on Appointments will vet the nominees before presenting them for approval to the National Assembly.
The Committee will also invite the public to make submissions on the nominees who will be grilled publicly on their qualifications, experience and integrity.
Uhuru, 51, and Ruto, 46, have concentrated on identifying young professionals of around the same age to take up the cabinet roles as well as other positions in their offices and State House. However some of the most critical dockets such as Security and Finance will be taken up by more senior individuals with experience.