MPs fail to resolve PSC row at an informal sitting

November 3, 2011 3:27 pm
Mps follow proceedings in Parliament / FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3- Members of Parliament were on Thursday morning holed up in an informal meeting over the fate of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), which continues to face integrity concerns.

During the session, which lasted close to three hours, the legislators decided that the matter would be settled next Thursday when the final ‘kamukunji’ would be held.

Gwassi MP John Mbadi told journalists that Thursday’s meeting would determine whether or not his censure motion against the PSC carried the day or whether the commission would be reconstituted, as he had requested.

Mbadi however said that he hoped that the PSC be reconstituted rather than go through with the censure motion.

“Thursday will be another kamukunji, which will determine whether we’ll proceed with the motion to the floor of the House or whether the members of the commission, whom I had asked to be replaced, will be replaced,” he explained while at the same time lauding the Speaker’s attempts to solve the matter.

The Gwasi MP had raised credibility issues against the commission accusing it of corruption, nepotism and non-performance and demanded that the team be reconstituted.

He also noted that the members of the PSC, whose integrity had come into question, were also given a chance to present their case during the well-attended meeting, although he declined to reveal further details.

“It will definitely be dealt with; if you were in the chambers you would have seen how enthusiastic members were. It was not a Mbadi affair. We were fairly honest with each other and we also heard some of the PSC commissioners,” he said.

However, the fate of the legal affairs committee did not come into focus during the session.

The committee has been facing leadership wrangles for the better part of the year, and two of the committee members have threatened to bring a censure motion against House Speaker Kenneth Marende and his deputy Farah Maalim over what they claim is a deliberate effort by the two to frustrate the committee’s functions.

Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu) and Njoroge Baiya (Githunguri) want the Speakers reprimanded over the allegations.

Last week, the Speaker dared the two to bring their motion to the floor saying he was prepared.

“And if they say the Speaker has interfered, let them say how he has interfered because if I have indeed, I will just own up. But as far as I’m concerned I have not done anything I shouldn’t do and whatever I should do I have done and within the law,” he countered.

The legal affairs committee started facing problems when MPs allied to the Party of National Unity (PNU) together with two rebel MPs from the Orange Democratic Movement passed a vote of no confidence in their Chair Ababu Namwamba.

The ODM wing then withdrew its membership from the committee forcing the House Business Committee (HBC) to intervene. The HBC then asked the two coalition parties to vote for new members and while the PNU selected six members, the ODM has been dilly-dallying.

On October 27, the ODM party was given a new deadline of November 1 to come up with a list of those it wants in the committee. However no progress has been made so far.


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