Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Joint secretary Ambassador Martin Kimani on Thursday, October 29, was forced to apologise for listing President Uhuru Kenyatta as one of his referees during a vetting session.
Kimani was among 16 ambassadorial nominees who were vetted in a special sitting of the National Assembly's Defence and Foreign Relations Committee.
The diplomat was earlier this month nominated by President Kenyatta to serve the prestigious position of Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations
During his session, Mandera North MP Abdullah Bashir asked whether the diplomat had named the Head of State as a way to intimidate the members.
“Why did you choose to list President Uhuru as your reference or are you trying to intimidate us?" the MP asked.
The legislator took issue with the fact that Kenyatta was the appointing authority in the country.
On his part, Kimani apologised to members for listing the President admitting that he would send other names to the committee.
"I thought they (referees) are people who know my character and in particular to this assignment. I commit to providing another name to the committee,” Kimani stated.
Another nominee who the MPs took on for her choice of referees was Ambasaddor Catherine Mwangi who was named Kenya's High Commissioner to South Africa.
Saboti MP Caleb Amisi questioned her choice of referees who include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia
"The referees are individuals in other countries. What if they have other motives for recommending you to that position with their country's interests?" he asked.
Amb. Mwangi, who is the President's cousin, equally apologised to the committee for her choice of referees and promised to submit other names.
In 2018, former State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu listed President Kenyatta as his referee when he was appointed as Kenya's envoy to the United Kingdom (UK).
The move puzzle the members of the vetting panel who were expected to contact Kenyatta to seek clarifications or confirmations on his conduct.
"He was my primary supervisor for 5 years. That's why he's my referee. The committee chairman can help you get to him in case of any clarification," Esipisu defended the move at the time.