Fate of Ababu committee rests with MPs

September 2, 2011 6:49 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 1- Parliament’s House Business Committee (HBC) said on Thursday that the beleaguered Legal Affairs Committee had not been disbanded, explaining that such a move can only be made through a Motion on the floor of the House.

Leader of Government Business Kalonzo Musyoka said the HBC would meet on Tuesday next week to discuss the wrangles surrounding the team.

“All the works of the Legal Affairs Committee have been relegated to another committee so we have decided to meet again and take a final decision on the committee,” he said.

The Legal Affairs Committee has been unable to function since January this year when it started facing leadership wrangles, after members allied to the Party of National Unity together with rebels from the Orange Democratic Movement passed a vote of no-confidence in the committee’s chairman Ababu Namwamba.

The Orange Democratic Movement which had a majority membership then decided to pull out of the committee, effectively disabling the committee’s functions. Its role and responsibilities were then taken up by the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee, under the chairmanship of Abdikadir Mohammed.

In defence of the committee, Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto said that they had been meeting and were willing to resolve the dispute but that some members were uncooperative.

“We want to elect a chair but there are certain forces among us in the committee who don’t want,” he said.

Gwassi MP John Mbadi however challenged Parliament to disband the Legal Affairs Committee arguing that its functions had become useless.

“It has been more than eight months since the controversies started. Why don’t we just constitute another one? What do we have to do with a committee that has become rogue?” he asked.

Mosop MP David Koech however felt that there was need to give the Committee more time to iron out its issues arguing that it played an important role.

“It is important that we remain sober. We should not kill this committee over such a small matter,” he argued.

Dujis MP Aden Duale also said that the committee should be disbanded. His Isiolo South counterpart Abdul Bahari asked the HBC to bring the matter before the House so that the legislators could decide.

“What’s so special about this committee that we can’t apply the Standing Orders to disband it? Which other laws outside this House can we use to disband it?” asked Mr Duale.


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