Lawyer terms Ringera vote useless

September 15, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 15 – A Constitutional lawyer has scoffed at Parliament’s spirited attempt to revoke the reappointment of Kenya Anti- Corruption Commission Director, Justice Aaron Ringera, saying their verdict would be inconsequential.

Kamotho Waiganjo told Capital News that the Constitution does not have a provision for the Legislature to nullify a decision made by the Executive.

“In a Constitutional structure, there is not much that Parliament can do; it can only pass a resolution, beyond that they can’t force the Executive to do what they want to do,” he said.

He said the available options for Parliament to arm-twist the Executive would be painful and unlikely for MPs to pursue. One of them, he said, was passing a vote of no-confidence in the government.

“They can’t do that (because) they would have to go home.”

The other option was to block KACC’s budgetary allocations for this financial year through amendments to the Appropriation Bill. Mr Waiganjo however noted that such a move would paralyse the commission, which may not be Parliament’s desire.

“MPs have an option of amending the law to restrict the Executive from appointing a KACC boss without consulting the Advisory Board.”

The lawyer called upon the Executive and the Legislature to reach a compromise and stop the wrangles between the two arms of the government.

“The most that Parliament has done is sending a strong message to the Executive and I don’t think the Executive wants to get into a consistent fight with Parliament, ” he said.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende last Thursday allowed Parliament to discuss the annulment of Ringera’s reappointment, despite two cases pending in court on the same matter.

Mr Marende ruled out claims by Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo that discussions of a report by a joint parliamentary committee would amount to sub-judice saying that the House had already started discussions on the matter before two cases against the reappointments were filed.
The Implementation and Justice and Legal Affairs Parliamentary committees were mandated to look into the reappointment of the KACC Director.


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