MPs still wrangling over law committee

October 8, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – The Parliamentary Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee has once again failed to break a deadlock over its leadership with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) members protesting the election of Abdikadir Mohammed as chairman.

The committee met for over four hours on Friday but did not reach consensus forcing the MPs to adjourn and agree to hold an extraordinary meeting on Saturday for further deliberations.

Sources within the meeting indicated that ODM was adamant that they would not allow Mr Mohammed who is also the Chairman of the equally powerful Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs to head both committees but various proposals were floated to end the impasse.

“One option that is gaining momentum is to have him step down from the Legal Affairs committee and leave it to ODM… then he can be allowed to continue as chair of the oversight team,” said an MP from ODM who requested to remain anonymous.

The Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs is scheduled to meet on Saturday morning where the idea of Mr Mohammed to relinquish his chairmanship in the committee is expected to be discussed after which the Oversight team will meet to agree on the way forward.

“The committee will be together, we will move together because we understand that there is no way that any side can go apart,” Mr Mohammed who briefed journalists after the deadlocked meeting said.

“Just like we led the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution is the same way the leadership of this committee will move on.”

The oversight committee met on Tuesday and elected Mr Mohammed in the absence of some ODM MPs. The team picked ODM’s Millie Odhiambo as his deputy but the party dismissed the election saying it could no longer agree to play second fiddle.

The Party of National Unity (PNU) has held to the election claiming Mr Mohammed had already been endorsed by a joint parliamentary group meeting of the coalition partners chaired by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga last month.

“We plead with all Kenyans that there is no reason for anxiety. This committee is up to the task that has been given to us,”

“The important thing for the country to understand is that there will be no cause for alarm over the leadership of this committee is concerned,” said Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba after the Friday meeting.

Mr Namwamba who was been fronted to take up the Oversight committee chair by ODM was certain the issue would be finalised on Saturday.

We are confident that we will be able to clear up the hurdles tomorrow for the committee to commence work on Monday,” he said.

The committee is mandated to be a link between Parliament and the yet to be constituted Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution that will lead the implementation process. They will also scrutinise Bills and vet members to various commissions.


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