Kenya MPs break for consensus

March 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – Parliament adjourned its sitting on Tuesday to allow members proceed for a consensus building retreat to be held at the Kenya Institute of Administration. 

Unlike last Wednesday when a similar adjournment Motion was defeated, MPs unanimously voted for the three-day meeting which commences on Wednesday.

The Motion was moved by Chief Whip George Thuo and seconded by his colleague Jakoyo Midiwo.
The Juja MP appealed to the members to treat the review process as a national matter rather than one for the two coalition parties to settle their political differences.

“It has been the tradition for the MPs to hold informal meetings or Kamukunji to ensure that a Constitution Bill does pass,” he said.

The retreat was proposed by the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution Review to enable MPs be enlightened on the proposed Constitution and seek consensus on contentious issues.

A similar Motion last Wednesday was shot down by 25 MPs allied to the Orange Democratic Movement as opposed to 23 aligned to the Party of National Unity.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka repeated President Kibaki`s call during the State Opening of Parliament, urging MPs to take advantage of the historic moment for the House to give Kenyans a new Constitution.

“The spirit of Naivasha should be repeated in the Committee of Experts even as we look forward to the referendum; let’s avoid putting this under the table, if we can look facts straight in the face then we will be all statesmen,” he said

On Monday, close to 100 MPs meeting under the banner of the Parliamentary Caucus on Reforms agreed to petition the House to attend the retreat and seek consensus.

The Caucus Convener Danson Mungatana hit out at the civil society for portraying the legislators in bad light, adding that the both the committee of experts and Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution Review had done their bit in going through the draft Constitution.

“We shall not be intimated, we shall not fear, even in light of the attacks against MPs because we must do our work,” he said.

The House will now begin debate on the draft next Tuesday.


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