- UDA legal Secretary and Gatanga MP Edward Muriu said Azimio should stop witch hunt on the nominees as it would be in violation of the “innocent until proven guilty” principle.
- He said they have majority of members in the assembly and thus there is nothing to worry about.
President William Ruto's 22 nominees to the Cabinet are counting on the Kenya Kwanza grip of Parliament to sail through the vetting process as questions emerge on the integrity of some candidates.
The Azimio team is spoiling for a fight and has described some of the nominees as “the formal inauguration of a mafia state being controlled by a mafia executive.
"They must know that there are a lot of questions about some of them and we will be asking those questions relentlessly. The nominees who stand flagged for extra scrutiny know themselves," Opiyo Wandayi, the Opposition nominee for Majority leader said on Wednesday.
However, some of Ruto allied MPs have said they will use their numerical strength in the National Assembly to push through the nominees.
Kipipiri MP Wanjiku Muhia and her Gatanga counterpart Edward Muriu rubbished the Azimio integrity claims and promised a smooth sailing for the nominees.
Muriu who is also the UDA legal Secretary said Azimio's assertions against the nominees amounts to witch hunt and is a violation of the “innocent until proven guilty” principle.
“It is against the principle of natural justice that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he said.
He said they have majority of members in the assembly and thus there is nothing to worry, citing the recent elections of the two speakers of Parliament.
Muhia said they will rally all members of the Kenya Kwanza Coalition to throw their weight behind the nominees.
According to Muhia, all the nominees are professionals with a performance track record.
In line with the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act, the President is required to formally notify the National Assembly Clerk in writing of his nominees for the vetting which will take place 28 days from the date of notification.
The vetting will be undertaken by the House Committee on Appointment, which is chaired by the Speaker of the House and has the leaders of the majority and minority, among other members.
The committee is required to undertake approval hearings on the nominees and produce a report to the House recommending the approval or rejection of the nominees within the statutory 28 days.
At least two of the Cabinet nominees — Agriculture's Mithika Linturi and Public Service, Gender and Affirmative Action's Aisha Jumwa — have officially been charged in court.
Linturi is in court over an attempted rape case.
He is accused of attempting to rape a 36-year-old woman in Nanyuki in January last year.
The former Meru senator has had several run-ins with the law, and was at one time arrested over alleged fraud and forgery allegations.
However, the High Court barred the police from arresting and charging him over claims he forged signatures to secure a Sh530 million bank loan using properties belonging to his estranged lover Marianne Kitany.
Jumwa has two active cases: murder and a Sh19 million graft case on alleged embezzlement of CDF funds.
Trade and Industry CS nominee Moses Kuria has also been on the radar of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for awarding CDF tenders to companies linked to his close relatives.
EACC had in fact recommended prosecution of the vocal former lawmaker.