President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday picked an insider to replace Edward Ouko as the country’s second Auditor-General.
Nancy Janet Kabui Gathungu, the Director of Quality Assurance at the Auditor-General’s office, will take over the position for eight years if Parliament approves her nomination.
President Kenyatta picked her from a list of three nominees forwarded to him by the panel tasked to select the successor to Edward Ouko, whose eight-year non-renewable term expired in August 27, last year.
Mr Kenyatta has sent the name of Ms Gathungu to Parliament for vetting in what is set to end the country’s nine-month wait for Mr Ouko’s replacement.
“His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta has nominated Ms Nancy Janet Kabui Gathungu for the position of Auditor General,” State House said in a statement to newsrooms on Friday.
The country has been without a substantive Auditor-General after Mr Ouko, the first person to occupy the office under the 2010 constitution, retired.
This 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 Sammy Onyango-led panel opted to re-advertise the position saying none of the 17 candidates shortlisted after the first interviews met the criteria for the job.
This was challenged in court by activist Okiya Omtatah saying some of the considerations imposed by the panel were outside the eligibility threshold set in law.
However, the court in March 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.”
President Kenyatta then appointed a new team headed by Mutua Kilaka to search for the auditor-general, a process that has now been concluded with the nomination of Ms Gathungu.
Ms Gathungu now faces vetting by the National Assembly committee on Appointments headed by Speaker Justin Muturi.
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