CIC to fast track Constitution Bills

January 19, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 19 – The Commission for Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) said on Wednesday that it expects to forward six Bills to Parliament for enactment by the end of March.

Speaking at County Hall during a meeting with the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee, CIC chairman Charles Nyachae said that in addition to two judicial reforms Bills they are also scrutinising five other Bills touching on police reforms.

The National Police Service Bill 2010, The National Police Service Commission Bill 2010, Independent Policing Oversight Authority Bill 2010, The Private Security Industry Regulation Bill and National Coroners Service Bill 2010 are the laws that are awaiting the nod from the Nyachae-led team.

Mr Nyachae further added that the Kenya Law Review Commission and Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Legal Affairs and Administration of Justice had also forwarded the Bills on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Salaries and Remuneration Commission for their input before Parliament can debate and enact it into law.  

At the same time, he said, he expects the government to republish the two Judicial Bills tomorrow after they concluded ‘technical consultations’ with the AG\’s office.

The government was on Tuesday, forced to withdraw the Judicial Service Commission Bill and Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill after the commission raised issues with its content.

Vice-Chairperson Elizabeth Muli said that they had misgivings on whether the procedure of fair vetting and removal of judges had been fully addressed.

They also proposed amendments which they said would guarantee the financial independence of the Judicial Service Commission which supervise the workings of the Judiciary.

Ms Muli proposed that the two bodies should have separate budgetary votes, rather than unite them under the proposed Judiciary Funds to be drawn out of the Consolidated Funds.

“We felt that we need to maintain sufficient \’China Walls\’ between the two even though there linkages because the Chief Justice and Registrar are by virtue members of the Commission. Particularly for that reason we need to create boundaries particularly in regards to fiscal independence,” she said.

The meeting was convened to discuss their work plan of the 14 day old team, after it was sworn in on the 4th of this month.

During the meeting the Parliamentary oversight team chairman Abdikadir Mohammed cautioned the Implementation team against being sucked into the 2012 succession politics, warning that it could destroy the credibility of the team.

He cited the defunct Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, Committee of Experts and Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission as some of the commission that lost favour with the public after members involved themselves in the politics of the day.

Mr Nyachae assured the team that they would prioritise the implementation of the new laws as it mattered most for Kenya.

He further said that they had not run into any logistical issues even as they await to receive funding for their operations.

He said they were yet to commence the process of recruiting the Secretary and staff that will work in the secretariat.

The commission is currently operating with the staff seconded from the Ministry.

The team is also waiting for the Treasury to post an officer who will assist them with the budget.

Meanwhile, the Nyachae team will next week organise a stakeholder’s workshop which will among other things come up with a strategic plan as well as an 18-month rapid work plan to identify key working areas.

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