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Panel told to exercise diligence and responsibility while recruiting Integration Commissioners

The  Public Service Commission Chairman, Stephen Kinyanjui Kirogo  on Tuesday  appealed to the recruitment panel for the National Cohesion and Integration Commissioners (NCIC) to exercise high level of responsibility while selecting holders of the office.

Kirogo reminded the panel of the circumstances that led to the enactment of the National Cohesion and Integration Act No. 12 of 2008 under which the NCIC was established as a statutory body, hence the need to be more diligent in carrying out this assignment.

He noted that such Commissions as envisages by the constitution are not only expected to function independently according to powers conferred in them but are also supposed to be meticulous in their undertakings.

Speaking during an introductory meeting with the recruitment panel held at the PSC Boardroom, Kirogo was keen on alerting the panel on the critical provisions of the NCI Act No 12 which he urged them not to compromise as patriotic Kenyans.

“The commissioners that you will recruit must be people of high moral character and who possess proven integrity. Such persons must have knowledge and experience in matters relating to race, ethnic and human relations and public affairs,” he said.

He further said that Kenyans are looking forward to successful nominees who will contend with the work outlined in this section, acknowledging however that the Task ahead of them is not for the fainthearted.

“Kenyans will rely on you to recruit persons who will have the capacity to exercise powers given to them without fear or favour,” he concluded.

Present was the NCIC Chief Executive Officer and the Commission’s Secretary, Hassan Mohamed (OGW) who pointed out that the recruitment of new commissioners is critical to enable the team work efficiently.

He said that although they have police officers to do arrests and monitor public activities that may trigger national discomfort, they were unable to prosecute any cases because of lack of commissioners.

The National Assembly last year suspended interviews to replace commissioners of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) following a notice by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Michael Sialai who had said that the decision to put off interviews for the 54 applicants who had been shortlisted by the House Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity was taken after the High Court on Friday temporarily issued an order blocking the interviews.

This followed a court order issued on Friday November 9, 2018 by Lady Justice Wilfrida Okwany in Nairobi Constitutional Petition Number 385 of 2018 between Okiya Omtatah Okoiti vs the Hon. Attorney General and the National Assembly suspending the scheduled interviews for persons shortlisted for the position of Commissioner to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.

Since then, the commission has been operating without commissioners, making the execution of its mandate difficult.

The process of appointment of the Commissioners under the Section 17 (i) (b) of the NCIC Act is essentially a recruitment process and not the ordinary approval process of nominees contemplated under the Standing Orders on the mandate of the House Committees.

Francis Ole Kaparo was inaugurated as the Commission Chairman by President Uhuru Kenyatta on September 11, 2014 alongside seven other commissioners to lead the National Cohesion and Integration Commission of Kenya with the positions falling vacant at the end of their period.

By  Alice  Gworo

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