NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – Two National Assembly Committees have suspended planned nationwide collection of public views on the IEBC Amendment Bill in order to allow pave way for the Joint Select Committee of both Houses of Parliament.
Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga and Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee Chairman Njoroge Baiya said they had stopped the commencement of the public hearing for two weeks to avoid an overlap of terms of reference of the Joint Select Committee.“Instead of commencing the meeting on June 20, we defer it to July 5, to allow us to allow us time to consult with leadership,” Chepkonga announced.
Baiya added: “We would want to know what the terms of reference of the select committee are going to be, so that we can make a decision whether we can actually seek or temporarily set aside the same issue that is the term of reference of the select committee.”
There were divisions in the committees as some MPs felt they should continue with their programme of events.
“What if they disagree? What if the membership is not even agreed by the two coalitions … are we saying that as Parliament we are skipping our mandate?” John Waiganjo (Ol-Joro-Orok) asked.
“As members of the committee we cannot be controlled by either State House or declarations by Capitol Hill (CORD Secretariat)”, Johanna Ngeno (Emurua-Dikirr) said.
IEBC’s performance has been under attack with CORD and KANU questioning its ability to handle the 2017 elections.
“The select committee process is a parliamentary process and I will not be a supporter where we duplicate and use public money,” Nakuru East MP David Gikaria stated, “Where JLAC uses money and another committee takes money, we will be cheating Kenyans and spending their money not for a good course.”
“We are not working in a vacuum, we have leadership and we come from political parties. I would urge the committee to accept to adjourn the matter so that we can give the leadership time,” said Manson Nyamweya (South Mugirango)
The two parliamentary committees are Tuesday scheduled to meet the House Majority and Minority Leaders to give their views on the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
In his address to the nation on Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta decided to name his team after consultations with Speakers of the Senate and the National Assembly and religious leaders at State House, Nairobi.
“A Joint Select Committee of both Houses of Parliament will be set up in accordance with Standing Orders of both Houses with keen mandate exclusively limited to the matter of IEBC,” Uhuru had stated.
“We expect that other initiatives by Parliament will harmonize their work within framework of the joint select committee.”
Jubilee had settled on Senators Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), Beatrice Elachi (Nominated), Fatuma Dullo (Nominated), MPs Cecile Mbarire (Runyenjes), Naomi Shaban (Taveta), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Jimmy Angwenyi (Kitutu Chache North) to take part in the dialogue.
Mumias MP Ben Washiali, Eng. Mohammed Mahmoud, Narok Woman Representative Soipan Tuya were also named in the team.
CORD has insisted that it would not settled for a parliamentary process on seeking a solution to the IEBC impasse saying the dialogue process should be at the presidency level.