Kenyan MPs accuse State of mischief

September 10, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – A number of backbench MPs are now fighting their exclusion from the ongoing restructuring of the Provincial Administration and appointment of members to key commissions charged with implementing the new Constitution.

The group on Friday accused the Executive of attempting to single-handedly restructure the Provincial Administration without the input of Parliament into account.

Led by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale, the five MPs objected to the proposed Bill on the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill that gives the Public Service Commission (PSC) authority to hire members of new commissions.

“They (Executive) would want to control the process so that what they want done and the people they want are the ones put in the positions. But by doing that we risk impunity being perpetuated since it is only the agenda of the powerful people in government that will be implemented,” said Dr Khalwale.

The Cabinet has approved the two Bills which give the PSC powers to competitively recruit members of the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and the Tribunal for vetting judges.

The MPs questioned why the Cabinet in its proposals had gone contrary to the process used during the appointment of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission and the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission where the Parliamentary Select Committee interviewed and recommended commissioners.

“Because we MPs are the representatives of the people we want the Kenyan people to say what they would want to see happen through us,” added Dr Khalwale.

The MPs demanded that the State awaits the formation of the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and the Parliamentary Oversight Committee – the organs which are mandated to guide the implementation process before making any further proposals.

On the Provincial administration, the MPs claim the plans by the Minister for Internal Security and Provincial Administration are bound to stifle the envisaged County governments.

Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo accused the State “of trying to appease the provincial administrators” in their efforts.

“Government is not only the Executive. What we are seeing now is one arm ignoring other arms,” said Mr Kilonzo.

According to the new Constitution the government has five years to restructure the provincial administration to conform with the introduction of County government.

“We ask the Executive to remain patient for the next two weeks as we (Parliament) will be back in session and we will contribute in the laws,” said Voi MP Danson Mwazo.

Cabinet Minister George Saitoti under who’s docket this falls has announced that the current administrators will be given new responsibilities in line with the new Constitution. He has said the provincial administration will be retained and in some cases expanded.

In the proposal, Provincial Commissioners will be responsible for coordinating a cluster of counties while Regional Commissioners will on the other hand be renamed county coordinators and re-deployed to oversee the operations of the National Government in the counties lumped.

District Commissioners, District officers, chiefs and their assistants will be retained but their roles redesigned.


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