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MPs vet nominee for Auditor-General

Janet Kabui Gathungu
Ms Nancy Janet Kabui Gathungu was nominated to succeed Edward Ouko as the country’s second Auditor-General under the new Constitution. PHOTO | POOL  

Nominee for the position of Auditor-General will Friday morning appear before Parliament for vetting.

The National Assembly Committee on Finance and National Planning will vet Nancy Janet Kabui Gathungu nominated to succeed Edward Ouko as the country’s second Auditor-General under the new Constitution.

The committee chaired by Mr Joseph Limo will vet Ms Gathungu who is widely tipped to succeed Mr Ouko after his eight-year non-renewable term ended in August last year. If MPs approve her appointment, it will end a nine-month wait for a new Auditor-General.

The nomination of Ms Gathungu, currently the Director of Quality Assurance at the Auditor-General’s office marks the end of two attempts by President Kenyatta to fill the position.

Under the law, Parliament has 14 days after submission of the name by the President to either approve or reject the nominee.

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National Assembly Speaker Muturi on June 23 told lawmakers that he had received Ms Gathungu’s nomination meaning that lawmakers have until July 13 to approve her.

“The committee is advised to expeditiously proceed to notify the nominee and the public, commence the approval hearings in good time and table its report to enable the house to consider the matter within the statutory time lines,” Speaker Muturi said in a communique to lawmakers.

Lack of a substantive Auditor-General has complicated financial planning and reporting for State corporations whose books cannot be closed without a substantive Auditor-General signing them.

The process to replace Mr Ouko began immediately after his retirement, but the first panel chaired by Mr Sammy Onyango re-advertised the position saying none of the 17 candidates shortlisted after the first interviews met the criteria for the job.

Activist Okiya Omtatah successfully challenged the move saying some of the considerations imposed by the panel were outside the eligibility threshold set in law.

The court the asked President Kenyatta to either extend the mandate of the selection panel or constitute a fresh one as current one “lacks legal competence and validity”, a process that concluded with Ms Gathungu’s nomination.

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