Six nominees appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta for ambassadorial jobs defended their old age before the Defense and Foreign Relations Committee for vetting after they were told to decline the job offers and let young people take the positions.
Appearing before the committee, five of them who are 60-years old included former Kenya Navy commander, Ngewa Mukala (Khartoum, Sudan), Jean Kimani (UN-Habitat), Benson Ogutu (Moscow, Russia), Catherine Mwangi (Pretoria, South Africa), and Samuel Nandwa (Juba, South Sudan).
The 49-year-old is former BBI joint secretary, Martin Kimani, nominated to the United Nations, New York.
The MPs led by Central Imenti legislator questioned them about their age and asked them to leave the positions to the young generation who are looking for such opportunities.
“You are 60 years old. There are people who have completed school and are looking for jobs. What makes you think you are suitable for this appointment yet there are young people who want jobs? Don’t you think you should decline this nomination in favor of a younger person?” posed Central Imenti MP Moses Kirima.
However, Mukala defended himself saying that despite him being 60 years old, he cannot decline a job offered by the President as it would be indiscipline.
“It is true I’m 60. But I’m retired not tired. Being in the military, it is indiscipline to say no when the Head of State gives you an appointment. It is the highest level of indiscipline and I’m not going to do it,” said Mukala.
“In 2013, I was posted as High commissioner to Botswana and later posted to the Europe and Commonwealth directorate. I retired last year and started a consultancy before I was nominated,” said Jean Kimani.
Ambassador Ogutu defended his nomination for the job stating that experience cannot be gained when young; it can only be gained when old.
He pointed out that he believes the experience he has will be key in advancing the country’s interests in Russia.