MPs pledge to meet Constitution deadlines

October 11, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – Parliament has assured that it will work round the clock to meet strict deadlines on the implementation of the new Constitution despite an initial delay in setting up the oversight committee.

The newly elected chairman of the Parliamentary Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee, Abdikadir Mohammed, said on Monday that they would soon release a schedule detailing how they intend to meet the deadlines some of which are lagging behind.

"We need to sit as a committee and come back to the country on exactly how we will be able to be doing this work (implementation)," he said. "We don\’t intend to breach any of the timelines. We will do everything within our power."

Disagreements between coalition partners Orange Democratic Movement and Party of National Unity over the leadership of the committee delayed its work and there are fears that some of the deadlines may be compromised.

The oversight committee however ended a week-long feud on Saturday when Mr Mohammed was endorsed as the chairman beating initial protests from ODM.

"The timelines in the review process were set by Parliament and they were diligently followed by all. The timelines in the new Constitution are even stricter," reiterated Mr Mohammed.

Parliament is expected to debate and pass the Judicial Service Bill and vet members of the judicial Service Commission by the end of this month.  There are fears that it is unlikely that the country will be able to meet the deadline since the Bill is yet to be tabled in the House for debate.

The Commission of the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) and that of revenue allocation should be in place by end of next month. The Bill on the CIC was tabled last week and is currently in the committee stage.

Mr Mohammed was speaking when he received a final report by the Committee of Experts which wound up office on Monday. He was joined by his vice Chairperson Millie Odhiambo.

"We take up what you have done as a challenge in terms of implementation; we will stay true to the letter and spirit of the Constitution," said Ms Odhiambo.

While handing over the report, CoE Chairman Nzamba Kitonga urged Parliament to remain committed to the strict deadlines set out in the Constitution. He called for compromises in settling disputes and accommodating diverse views.

"We know there have been issues on the Provincial Administration but we are comfortable in the belief that acceptable accommodation will be achieved to make our county governments attain their objective of bringing change and resources at grassroots levels," he said.

CoE Vice Chairperson Atsango Chesoni called for persistent civic pressure to ensure Parliament meets all deadlines.

"I hope as Kenyans we will keep Parliament on its toes. I am looking forward to Kenyans continue with the work," she said.


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