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Mutua defends government printer

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – The Government Printer has been defended against accusations of frustrating publication of a notice gazetting 80 new constituencies.

Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua said the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IIBRC) handed over its work to the printer well after working hours on Monday.

He added that the material for publication was also given to the Government Printer without approval from the Attorney General\’s office, which was against the procedure.

"The Government Printer received the said request at about 4.30pm on 15th of November, basically at closing hours of that day. Before getting approval from the Attorney General, the Government Printer received a court injunction stopping it from publishing the request by the IIBRC," he said.

MPs on Tuesday accused the Government Printer of colluding with the head of the Public Service Francis Muthaura to frustrate publication of the new constituencies.  Mr Muthaura has since denied any wrong doing.

He asked MPs who may have evidence that he influenced delay of the publication to produce it or withdraw the allegations.

Dr Mutua has in the meantime called for consensus among the political class to resolve the ongoing constituency review row.

Dr Mutua said it was important for the leaders to approach the matter soberly without compromising peace in the country.

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"We need to have consensus so that no Kenyan feels that they have been unfairly targeted. As our history has showed, there is nothing we cannot resolve for the sake of our country," he said.

He said it was the government\’s wish that politicians would honour and protect justice, fairness and equity with the aim of promoting peace throughout the country.

He however said the government had noted the concerns raised by some Members of Parliament who accused the IIBRC of bias and inequality in the distribution of constituencies.

He urged the team to consider the claims raised to ensure fairness is exercised in the procedure.

Dr Mutua said it was crucial that balance is observed in the process to avoid unnecessary political differences in the country.

"The government does not wish to interfere with the court and Parliament, however,  the government wishes to assure Kenyans that it is concerned about claims of bias and unfairness that have been echoed by some MPs and would wish that all concerned parties come together to achieve consensus," he said.

Meanwhile, the government said it was consulting with the US Embassy to know which four top government officials had been banned from travelling to the US over drug trafficking.

Dr Mutua said the government was committed to fighting drug trafficking in the country and information given by the Embassy would be of great help to address the drug problem which he said had greatly affected the Coastal region.

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