, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – The Joint Parliamentary Select Committee on matters relating to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Monday finally sealed a deal on sending the current electoral chiefs home by September 30 to pave way for a new team.
The committee that comprises representation from the CORD and Jubilee Coalitions also agreed to scale down the number of new commissioners to seven from nine, who will still serve on a full-time basis.
“The current commissioners would then be required to leave office when the new commissioners are sworn-in and that should not be later than September 30, 2016. We further agreed that the question relating to staff is a constitutional issue and the Constitution sets how members of staff, by way of recruitment and discipline should be dealt with, and therefore we said that should be undertaken in accordance with the Constitution at an appropriate time when the new commission is in place,” the House Select Team Co-Chair Siaya Senator James Orengo told a news conference.
His counterpart Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi confirmed that the House team did not find any wrongdoing on the part of the current commissioners, meaning they will not be prosecuted once they leave office.
“We have made the impossible, possible. At the beginning, we were not sure we would get where we are today. We had a wonderful team and in these 30 days, we have been working together, we have become friends, good working colleague and workmates and indeed it is that spirit of comradeship that has made this task possible,” Murungi said.
A full report which will be signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, CORD Co-Principals Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, National Assembly Leaders Aden Duale and Francis Nyenze as well their counterparts Kithure Kindiki and Moses Wetangula from the Senate, will be ready by Wednesday.
The committee had also agreed that a clean-up of the existing voters’ register be carried out by a forensic audit firm of international repute, and another body with international experience and expertise on electoral matters.
The committee has further resolved that a selection panel comprising religious leaders and the Parliamentary Service Commission be appointed by the President to expedite the search of the new commissioners.
The panel is to be composed of four representatives from the Parliamentary Service Commission (two men and two women), one person from the Hindu Council of Kenya, one person jointly nominated by the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF) and Kenya Council of Imams and Ulama respectively.
The Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Council of Churches of Kenya will each nominate a representative to the IEBC Selection Panel.
The PSC will provide secretariat services to the selection panel and the secretariat.
But even as the joint select team was basking in its glory, Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga warned he will oppose their report and Bills for failing to beat the deadline whose tabling was Tuesday afternoon.
Chepkonga, whose committee had earlier cleared the IEBC Commissioners of allegations of lack of integrity and competence, was pleased after the Speaker barred the National Assembly from debating their report in a bid to forestall a supremacy war that was playing out.
The House Committee was handling a petition filed by Bungoma resident Barasa Nyukuri.
MPs were barred from debating the report that cleared the IEBC Commissioner for 30 days in order to allow the Parliamentary Select Joint Committee to deal with issues surrounding the electoral commission.