, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – The Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) on Thursday ruled out any direct nomination into the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) selection panel, saying all nominees would be subjected to vetting.
CIOC Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed said the individuals who were nominated by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga would also have to defend their nominations when the vetting exercise kicks off on July 26.
The President picked Marion Mutugi and Mwanyengela Ngali while the Premier picked Rosa Abuyu and the former Secretary of the Committee of Experts Ekuru Aukot to the crucial panel.
“The fallacy that I have heard is that the nominees from the President and Prime Minister will not be vetted but they will be vetted and Parliament can either accept them or turn them down. If they are suitable, they will pass but if not then they won’t,” he said.
Six other individuals were nominated by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission, the Judicial Service Commission and the Professional Association of East Africa. However the selection panel requires seven members, so only three individuals from these bodies will go through.
The nominations from each office, including the President’s and Prime Minister’s, will also have to consider gender balance by nominating one man and one woman each.
Mr Mohammed further explained that only one person would be picked from each professional body after the vetting process.
“We will also vet the other six individuals but we will have to nominate them because we only need three. The reason why we decided to have professional bodies included in the panel was to balance out the political aspect,” he said.
He added that the other reason why Parliament decided to include professional bodies in the selection panel was to promote regional balance.
“So that if we have the four people coming from specific regions of the country then we will have the option of balancing it out through the remaining three slots,” he said.
The CIOC Chair further announced that the commencement date for the IEBC Act was July 18 following the confusion that arose from the backdating of publication dates by the Government Printer who wrongly indicated that the Act was published on July 5.
The confusion left the National Assembly and the two principals with only July 19 to pick the IEBC panel because the Gazette notice requires that both parties conclude the process within 14 days of the commencement date of the Act.
The CIOC summoned the Government Printer, Andrew Rukaria, over the inconsistency on Wednesday where he was faulted for the irregularity. The committee also called for the establishment of a law that will supervise the overall activities of the Government Printer after he admitted to the error.
“When you give it a date before the publication, what you are saying, which is not correct, is that it was operational before it was published. For example, today’s newspaper holds today’s date; it can’t bear a past date,” Mr Mohammed had explained on Wednesday.