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Kenya Minister pledges new law in 2010

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Newly appointed Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo has promised to deliver a new Constitution by August next year.

Mr Kilonzo, who moved to his new office on Tuesday, said he was confident the Committee of Experts would deliver a draft document by December this year and urged them to consult widely in coming up with a widely acceptable document.

“Between December and March when the President opens the Fourth Session (of Parliament), we will have enough time to interrogate that document. If (it) has been produced by consensus then debate will be as limited as you can imagine probably for four days” he said.

“You can have the draft Constitution available for referendum by end of March or April.”

To overcome the challenge of disputes, the Minister urged the Committee of Experts to publicly engage with all the stakeholders and incorporate views of a cross-section of Kenyans.

The Mbooni Member of Parliament was appointed on Monday to succeed Gichugu legislator Martha Karua who resigned last month in allegations of frustrations by ‘operatives in the Office of the President’ in her reform agenda. Mr Kilonzo however maintained that he would not be cowed by the reasons behind Ms Karua’s exit.

“I have been looking for Ms Karua to advise me so that I can be forewarned but I have not been successful. If they (operatives) exist, I need evidence on that. But perhaps they have been obstructionist to Ms Karua and they will not be obstructionist to me,” he enthused.

The former Nairobi Metropolitan Development Minister nevertheless vowed to push for the much needed reforms in the Police, Judiciary and other justice arms of the government, but promised that the reforms would not target individuals.

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He remained clear that there will be no witch hunting in the quest for change.

“I am going to pay courtesy calls to the Attorney General, Police Commissioner and to the Chief Justice in broad day light and they will tell me the problems they have.”

Mr Kilonzo had earlier handed over his Nairobi Metropolitan docket to Ndia MP Njeru Githae. Mr Githae who was formerly Assistant Minister of Local Government said he would prioritise demystifying the notion that the Ministry was in competition with that of Local Government

“In real sense, the Local Government should relinquish the 15 councils under (the Nairobi Metropolitan) Ministry so that it can concentrate on the others,” he said.

Mr Githae added that he would consult the Olkejuado County Council to win them over their inclusion into the Metropolis.


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