MPs to hold night session to beat deadlines

November 25, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – Parliament was due to hold a special session on Thursday starting at 7pm, in a bid to beat a deadline to establish two crucial committees on the implementation of the new Constitution.

House Speaker Kenneth Marende said the sitting would allow MPs to debate and adopt names of nominees to serve on the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) and the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).

"The purpose of that sitting shall primarily be to consider the reports by the parliamentary committees on Justice and Legal Affairs on the approval of nominees to serve on the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and the Parliamentary Committee on Finance on the approval of persons named in the Commission on Revenue Allocation," he said.

The Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs and that on Finance tabled their reports on Thursday afternoon after vetting the nominees to the two commissions earlier in the day.

Parliament will now be expected to debate and adopt the two lists, which will then be forwarded to the President for publication in the Gazette to beat Saturday’s deadline on setting up the two crucial committees as stipulated in the Constitution.

Nominated MP Amina Abdalla tabled the list for the Implementation Commission after they vetted the nominees on Thursday morning.

Finance Committee Chairman Chris Okemo tabled the nomination of the CRA chairman Micah Cheserem who appeared before the committee on Thursday morning.

The Parliamentary committee on Justice and Legal Affairs scrutinised the nine CIC nominees who were picked on Wednesday by the President and Prime Minister.

During his vetting session, Charles Nyachae who has been proposed to chair the CIC expressed confidence in leading the implementation process.

“If I am confirmed, it will be crucial that I will be courting the active support and participation of the parliamentary committee and the Executive stakeholders where the Bills will be originating from,” he said.

He added: “With goodwill, we can navigate through any political and partisan challenges that may arise and I’m confident that we can achieve the constitutional goals in a shorter period than the five years given under the new Constitution."

The MPs also vetted Professor Peter Wanyande, where they expressed concern that his involvement in politics as a member of the Yes Secretariat may affect his work at the commission.

But the Political Science professor at the University of Nairobi said: "My training is such that one is able to put aside his values, his interests (for) national interests; I am aware that the implementation of the Constitution is a national exercise that must be done as objectively as possible. I am committed to the implementation of this Constitution having participated in different capacities."

Separately, the Committee on Finance met with Mr Cheserem who has been nominated to head the Revenue Commission.

Mr Cheserem said he would be stepping down from chairing the board of the Capital Markets Authority if his nomination is successful.


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