Kenyans assured law review is safe

May 13, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – The Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution Review on Thursday assured Kenyans that the law review process was secure despite the discovery that two conflicting drafts had been produced.

Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed said an audit by the Clerk’s office has ascertained that the authentic draft published by the Attorney General was the one passed by Parliament with no alterations. Mr Mohammed downplayed a request by a section of politicians for the suspension of the referendum owing to the discovery of the contentious document.

“We want to assure that the integrity of the process is fine and the document that will be put to the referendum is one document… the one that is a product of the process,” he said.

Politicians allied to the No camp had on Wednesday called for the suspension of the referendum saying the process was now in question.

Attorney General Amos Wako on Wednesday confirmed that the government printer had produced two different drafts: the authentic one and a fake one. He said the draft was mysteriously amended at the printer but added that he had halted the production of the fake document.

The illegal document said to be in circulation concurrently with the authentic one has amended section 24 (1) (d) to limit the Bill of Rights in cases of “prejudice to national security.”

However the Parliamentary Caucus for reforms is accusing the No camp of being behind the alteration of the Proposed Constitution in an attempt to discredit the process. Convener Danson Mungatana led five MPs in attacking the No team of working with enshrined systems within the Executive to derail the review process.

“These anti-reformists believe they will use the courts to block the change. We will meet there. We will match lawyers to lawyers; dollar to dollar,” he said.

“We are not going to allow a few people to stop the change that must come to this country.”

Eldoret East MP Margaret Kamar added: “The motive of the person who inserted the clause must have been to dirtyfy the draft or to create the confusion,” he added

“If the State Law Office could take action that could go a long way in deterring such incidence in the future,” charged PSC vice chairman Ababu Namwamba.

But the No camp distanced itself from the misdeed, instead directing the heat to the Attorney General’s office.

“The AG and the entire Committee of experts should be investigated for this whole conspiracy,” said Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo.

Mr Kilonzo was backed by Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi who said: “The confidence we had in this process is now lost. And trust is like virginity once it is lost, it is lost completely.”


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