Kenya names 3 foreigners for law review

January 22, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Constitution Review has selected three foreign nationals to sit in the nine-member Committee of Experts that will draft a new constitution for the country.

The three, Prof Christian Murray (South Africa), Dr Chaloka Beyani (Zambia) and Prof Fredrick Ssempembwa (Uganda) will join six Kenyans in harmonising various documents to come up with a draft constitution that will be presented to Parliament for approval.

PSC Vice Chairman Ababu Namwamba said the committee that met on Thursday, considered the foreign experts selected to be the most qualified from a list of five given to them by Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan last week.

“We have also forwarded the name of Thoma Hottinger (Switzerland) and Prof Brenda O’Leary (Ireland) as for this process and all the five names will be submitted to Parliament for consideration and subsequent approval,” Mr Namwamba stated.

Addressing the press after a PSC meeting at County Hall in Nairobi, Mr Namwamba said they would meet later in the day to select a human resource firm that would assist them vet local constitution experts and nominate six for approval by Parliament.

“The National Assembly Tender committee did open 13 bids from human resource firms in the presence of the committee and they are going through the applications right now.”

Last week, the 27 member committee chaired by Mandera Central MP Mohammed Abdikadir, set February 2 as the date when the Committee of Experts should start work.
Once the PSC completes selecting the panel of experts, they are to begin vetting applicants for the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) that is to replace the disbanded Electoral Commission of Kenya.

The IIEC shall be responsible for the reform of the electoral process and the management of elections in order to institutionalise free and fair polling.

They will also be mandated to establish an efficient and effective secretariat and conduct fresh registration of voters, as well as the creation of a new voters’ register.

The PSC advertised the nine positions in the local dailies last week and encouraged Kenyans who are qualified and especially women to apply.


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