Embakasi East Member of Parliament Paul Ongili popularly known as Babu Owino was on Thursday barred from participating in the vetting of Prof George Magoha as Education Cabinet Secretary.
The controversial legislator was a student leader at the University of Nairobi where Magoa was Vice Chancellor and Professor of Surgery as well as Consultant Urologist in the College of Health Sciences from 2005 to 2015.
Speaker of National Assembly Justin Muturi, who chairs the National Assembly Committee on Appointment, barred Mr Owino who many looked forward to see vet his former Vice Chancellor.
Muturi stated that the legislator’s request to be incorporated in the session as the friend of the committee was unprocedural .
He said Owino had not written to his office to seek permission, contrary to House Standing order 195.
According to the order, a non-member of a committee who wishes to participate in a session should write to the Speaker of the House 24 hours prior to the start of the session.
“A Member may attend a meeting of any committee of the House of which he or she is not a member, but such Member shall not be entitled to vote on any matter before the committee.
A Member who intends to participate in a meeting of a committee of the House of which he or she is not a member shall submit a written request to the Chairperson of the committee at least twenty-four hours before the meeting, or such other period the Chairperson may in exceptional circumstances allow.
….Where the Chairperson allows a request for participation under paragraph (2), the Member may attend the meeting and raise any matters indicated in his or her request,” the order reads in part.
Prof Magoha who was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in his Executive Order Number 3, appeared before the 28-member committee where he expressed confidence in his awaiting roles as Education CS.
He affirmed that his administration won’t entertain corruption.
“I am not afraid of anyone, my courage must come from God because if I find you earning money that is not yours, I will take it that, that is your choice. If you are required to earn a wage you should work for it,” said Magoha.
“Anyone who chooses to plunder government funds I will not be very kind to them because it’s a choice,” he told the Committee on Appointments.
On the challenges facing teachers, Prof Magoha said he will consult widely to maintain good ties with other education stakeholders.
“If you don’t know the problem you have then you cannot deal with it and you must ensure that you consult and consult. You consult even the unions, silently, so that when you come out in public you are not shouting at each other,” he said.
He maintained that he supports the competency based curriculum the ministry is engaged in.
“I support it because I have been on the other side looking for employees. Kenyans have certificates in folders and when you look at the person behind the certificate, they are not there, even PhD holders,” he said.
If approved by the committee, the no nonsense ex Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) chairman, will be sworn into office, taking over from Amb. Amina Mohammed who was moved to the Sports docket after Rashid Echesa was sacked.