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Grand Regency Tribunal begins hearings next week

NAIROBI July 19 –The commission of inquiry appointed by President Mwai Kibaki on July 10, to probe the Grand Regency Hotel sale has commenced its work.

According to a statement released Friday, the commission’s secretary, Anthony Ombwayo, said the five-man tribunal had embarked on earnest groundwork to ensure a smooth commencement of hearings.

Ombwayo said preparation of the rules of procedure had been undertaken and investigators were already gathering evidence from persons mentioned in the gazette notice and potential witnesses.

He said the team would be sworn in on Monday since the Chief Justice has been away attending court of appeal sessions in Mombasa.

The Commission’s Chair, Justice (Rtd) Majid Cockar, convened a meeting last Friday to chart the way to ensure its mandate is accomplished.

In the statement, the commission has also published its terms of reference which include inquiring circumstances leading to the sale of the five-star city hotel.

It has been expressly mandated to look into the role played by former Finance Minister Amos Kimunya, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) governor, Professor Njuguna Ndung’u alongside the CBK Company Secretary and any other persons involved in the sale.

Similarly, the commission is expected to recommend such legal and administrative measures as it may deem necessary, and report its findings and recommendations within one month.

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The commission has, in the discharge f its mandate, been bestowed powers to receive views from members of the public and receive written and oral statements from any person with relevant information.

It is also allowed to use any previous reports on the matter and receive opinions in various relevant areas.

In addition, the commission has inherent powers to determine its own rules of procedure and develop a work plan.

Like the other commissions, it also has power to summon persons concerned to testify on oath and to produce any books, valuations or any other documents that the commissioners may require.

It is expected to conduct its hearings in public though it may hold private hearings whenever it becomes necessary.

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