List to powerful MPs law committee passed

October 5, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 5 – Parliament has finally established the crucial Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee after days of disagreement on the membership of the committee.

Members endorsed the 27 names that will oversee the implementation of the Constitution over the next five years.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who tabled the list in the House urged MPs to set aside their partisan interests in the implementation of the new law.

"The Committee that we set in place is not an ODM, PNU or whatever other party committee… this is a committee of the 10th Parliament and therefore I want to urge members to serve in that spirit they will now have to liaise with the Kenya Law Reform Commission and ensure that we beat the timelines," he said.

Lawmakers who opposed the passage of the Constitution during the referendum were not left behind in supporting the Motion, with Kuria MP Wilfred Machage and Cherengany counterpart Joshua Kutuny leading the bandwagon.

Mr Machage however took a swipe at the House Business Committee for leaving out members of the No team arguing that they should not be punished for the stand they took.  But he was reprimanded by the Speaker o f the National Assembly Kenneth Marende for \’praising\’ the Luo community after they left the Suba community to take up spots reserved for the scrapped Nyanza Province.

The suspended Roads Assistant Minister had complained that the marginalised communities had been left out of the team, but thanked ODM team for including two MPs from the community in their list.

Mr Kutuny said Parliament must move to address the rising concerns around the fate of the Provincial Administration and the debate of surrounding the minimum size of land.

"We are joining the rest of the country in implementing the Constitution, we want to see the committee working around the clock to ensure that criteria to identify the acreages are put in place so that it doesn\’t cause unnecessary squabbles," he said.

The House last week failed in its initial bid to establish the Committee when MPs from the PNU Coalition dismissed the list claiming that they had not been consulted.

The Party of National Unity and ODM both replaced one MP each after holding separate parliamentary group meetings.

In PNU Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti was replaced by Kimilili MP Eseli Simiyu while in ODM Assistant Energy Minister Mahmoud Mohamed was replaced by Nominated MP Sophia Abdi.

Ms Ndeti had vowed to fight her exclusion but has since changed her position.

"There are those in my community who are afraid of me … any opportunity that Wavinya will be given; they want Wavinya removed. I am a leader; my people have chosen me as a leader. Anything that I have to do for people and my country is greater than me. I love my country, I love Kenya, I give in and I support the Motion," she said amidst applause from her colleagues.

Assistant Minister Mwangi Kiunjuri added: "I am encouraged by the young faces in the list. We must support them because Kenyans are eager to see how the Constitution will be implemented."

The Committee is running behind schedule and any further delay in its establishment could be detrimental to the implementation of the new Constitution.

At least three Bills are waiting the vetting of the committee before debate and adoption by the House. The three Bills are: The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill and the Judicial Service Bill.


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