Kenya will not have constitutional court

January 25, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIVASHA, Kenya, Jan 25 – The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the Review of the Constitution on Monday resolved to do away with the proposed Constitutional Court.

Reports from Naivasha indicate that the 26 member team instead opted for a special division to be set up in the High Court to deal with constitutional matters. Experts had expressed views that the structure of the Judiciary as proposed was bulky. The Committee of Experts (CoE) on the Constitution had introduced a Supreme Court alongside the Constitutional Court but there were arguments to remove the latter.

It however remained unclear whether the team had approved a proposal to vet all judges afresh and an attractive send-off package for those who opt for early retirement.

Further debating the chapter on the Judiciary, the PSC however deferred debate on the contentious issue of the Kadhi courts and instead invited leading Christian and Muslim scholars on Wednesday to shed more light on the matter.

The team was later expected to debate the chapters on the Public Service, National Security, Lands and Environment.

The members who reported back to the Great Rift Valley Lodge on Sunday evening started deliberations shortly after 8am on Monday morning. The team had taken the weekend break after meeting for five days last week during which considerable agreements were made including a Presidential system, creation of 18 regions, a 356 member-Parliament and a 54-member Senate.

Sources at the meeting said the Parliamentarians had shelved matters on the finer details of a Presidential system, the levels of devolution and representation. Final decisions on these matters were expected to be made on Tuesday.

The team is due to finalise its retreat on Wednesday.  The committee will later meet on Thursday to adopt its report before presenting it to the Committee of Experts.

Committee Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed has promised to release a report of the committee’s deliberations on Wednesday.

The PSC received the revised draft from the experts over two weeks ago and has until this Friday to submit amendments and recommendations for incorporation. The experts will have three weeks to incorporate the views and submit a final document for debate and adoption by the National Assembly.

Meanwhile a proposal to appoint Ministers from outside Parliament continued to receive support from the political class. Kibwezi MP Phillip Kaloki said this would ensure ministries are professionally run as those appointed will be persons of proven ability.

“This will be clear separation of powers between the Executive and Parliament. Secondly, one will be vetted to ensure we pick professionals,” he said.


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