By Stephen Makabila
NAIROBI, KENYA: Big names failed to make it to the list of 155 nominees to be interviewed for positions of Principal Secretaries from Monday.
Some of those who missed out had contested various elective seats in the March 4 election but lost, only to apply to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for the slots in the second round of applications that closed last Wednesday.
Out of the 2,088 applicants who had applied to PSC, the 155 shortlisted will be reduced to 66 before the names are forwarded top President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointment.
According to the PSC chairperson Margaret Kobia, interviews for the shortlisted 155 applicants runs from tomorrow, April 29, to May 10.
The applicants, Kobia added, comprised serving permanent secretaries, senior civil servants, heads of parastatals and senior people in the private sector.
Gender balance and regional or ethnic balance, Kobia says, will be the guiding factors in selecting the 66 nominees to be forwarded to the President for possible appointment as Principal Secretaries.
Those short-listed have been drawn from at all 47 counties, with the number per county ranging from between two and seven.
Some heavily populated counties such as Kisii and Kakamega have seven and five nominees, respectively, while low populated counties such as Isiolo have two.
There are, however, no shortlisted nominees from Nairobi, the biggest county that serves as the national administrative and commercial capital, but is largely cosmopolitan.
Among those who were not shortlisted are Permanent Secretaries George Godia (Education), Andrew Mondoh (Special Programmes), former Assistant ministers Stephen Tarus, former Nairobi Town Clerk Philip Kisia, former Rangwe MP Shem Ochuodho, Dr Kennedy Nyairo, unsuccessful Nyaribari Masaba parliamentary seat aspirant, former South Mugirango MP and PDP leader Omingo Magara who was trounced by Chris Obure for the Kisii County Senate, and Vincent Sidai who un-successfully contested the Busia county governorship.Others not lucky enough include a former Vice-Chancellor Ratemo Michieka, former PS Mark Bor, former PS Richard Muga, former Ambassador to Nigeria Francis Sigei and the deputy chairperson of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Tecla Namachanja and Ambassador Patrick Wamoto.
A good number of seasoned and experienced PSs who have been the face of the country’s Civil Service will also miss out in the expected appointment of Principal Secretaries to head the 18 ministries.
While PSC is said to have failed to shortlist three serving (PSs) among the 155 names released on Wednesday, some senior PSs did not apply for the jobs.
Among those who did not apply include Prof Karega Mutahi (Local Government), Patrick Nyoike(Energy), Joseph Kinyua (Finance) and Mohamed Isahakia (defunct office of Prime Minister).
Among shortlisted serving PSs include Michael Kamau (Roads), Bitange Ndemo (Information and Communication), Jacob ole Miaron (Livestock), Prof Jacqueline Oduol (Gender and Children Affairs), Edward Sambili (Planning) and Tirop Kosgey (Housing). Kamau has since been nominated to the Cabinet.
New faces to be interviewed are Joseph Njoroge of Kenya Power, Caroli Omondi of the defunct office of Prime Minister, Prof Paul Wasanga, the Chief Executive of the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), Sammy Makove, Chief Executive Officer of Insurance Regulatory Authority and Commissioner of Insurance and former Chief Executive of the Committee of Experts (CoE) Ekuru Aukot.
Others are former PC Abdul Mwaserah, Chairman of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission Mzalendo Kibunjia, Kenya National Hospital CEO Richard Lesiyampe, Kenya Airports Authority Deputy Managing Director Mathew Wamalwa, and Kerio Valley Development Authority Managing Director David Kimosop.
Applicants for the positions were supposed to be Kenyans and in possession of a Bachelors and Masters Degree or higher academic qualifications from a recognised university. Other requirements include at least 15 years professional experience, five years of which should have been in a leadership position or at a top management level among other qualifications.
After receiving the shortlisted 66, President Kenyatta will pick the names to fit the 18 ministries he created last week before sending them to Parliament for approval.
Some of the dockets have been reconstituted to allow for more than one Principal Secretary to allow the government to function more efficiently.