Nairobi County Assembly has finally approved the name of former top State House official Peter Kariuki as the new County Secretary.
This after the County Assembly unanimously approved a report by the vetting and appointments committee, presented before the Assembly on Wednesday.
The committee, chaired by Speaker Beatrice Elachi, recommended Mr Kariuki’s appointment, setting the way for his swearing in to be the fourth Nairobi county secretary.
This comes five months after the name was presented to the assembly on November 7, 2017 but later recalled early this year on February 26 with Governor Mike Sonko saying that the recall was to allow for conclusive consultation.
“Reference is made to our letter dated November 7, 2017 on the above subject. This is to advise that I am recalling the above officer to allow for further consultations before we conclusively undertake the appointment of the same,” read in part the letter that the governor wrote to Ms Elachi.
Mr Kariuki’s nomination has been marred with controversy with reports saying that the former head of Project Delivery Unit in the Office of the President was seconded to City Hall as a State House appointee and therefore found it hard to get the blessing from Governor Sonko who allegedly saw his nomination as the continuation of a wider scheme by ‘State House operatives’ to continue controlling his administration.
But in a change of heart, Sonko wrote to Speaker Elachi on Tuesday, April 10, to reactivate the confirmation process of Mr Kariuki by allowing the House to prioritise the discussion and approval of the nomination of Mr Kariuki “following successful consultations with various stakeholders.”
The report waxed lyrical on Mr Kariuki mentioning that he had served as a consultant at UN organisation UNICEF, Inter Parliamentary Union, Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, and at the Ministry of Planning and Finance as a member of the technical working committee on social development.
“He was competitively sourced from among persons interviewed by the County Public Service Board, has been cleared by the Ethics and Anti-corruption commission, KRA, has never been charged in a court of law and does not exhibit a conflict of interest,” reads in part the report.
Mr Kariuki is now set to take over from Simon Leboo Morintat, who has been holding brief in the position in an acting capacity but was nominated by the City Hall boss to take over as the chief officer in the Public Service Management department, a position he also held during the reign of former governor Evans Kidero.
The new county secretary previously served as a programme assistant at the Public Law institute for three years from 1998 to 2001 and at the same time as a counsel at Ombaka and Associates before going on to become Basic Rights Campaign National Coordinator between 2002 and 2005.
He then became the executive director of the Social-Economic Rights Foundation from 2005 to 2012 before land the State House job.