Saitoti, Muthaura face censure over boundaries

November 18, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, the Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura and High Court judge Jeanne Gachehe are now facing a censure Motion from  Members of Parliament, as the constituencies row persists.

Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto and his Bahari counterpart Benedict Gunda filed their Motions separately on Thursday but the Speaker had yet to approve them.

Mr Ruto is calling for the immediate suspension of Prof Saitoti, Mr Muthaura and Government Printer, while Mr Gunda wants Justice Gacheche suspended.  (The law however demands that a judge can only be suspended once a tribunal has been appointed to probe their conduct).

Mr Gunda accused Lady Justice Gacheche of contravening the Constitution after she granted an order blocking the publication of the demarcated electoral units.

“She even set the hearing date for December 2 knowing very well that the mandate of the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission will have expired. This is a flagrant disregard for the constitutional rights of Kenyans,” said the Bahari MP.

He further accused the Judge of being malicious saying her conduct should be probed by a tribunal. 

“She is unfit to hold any judicial office and this House demands her immediate resignation or the appointing authority sets up a tribunal to inquire into her fitness with immediate effect,” said Mr Gunda.

In addition to the suspension calls, Mr Ruto wants the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) to step in and investigate the circumstances under which the Government Printer failed to publish the notice gazetting the new constituency boundaries.

“We want the KACC to determine whether there is evidence of violations of the Constitution and abuse, misconduct or corrupt practices in the context of the Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes Act or any other law,” said Mr Ruto.

Medical Services Assistant Minister Kazungu Kambi together with Naivasha MP John Mututho also addressed the press late on Thursday and criticised their fellow legislators for the move.

The two accused their counterparts of personalising the issue arguing that the Judiciary was an independent body which would not operate properly with politicians’ interference.

“Let us separate chaff with grain and let us not feed the Kenyan people with chaff. Rome was not built in a day and this is not the time to play cheap politics,” said Mr Kambi.

On his part, Mr Mututho defended the Government Printer saying he was an innocent by stander. He explained that Parliament should allow judges to perform their tasks without poking fingers and also respect their authority.

“We should allow the Judiciary to do its thing and we do ours. You cannot come here and behave as if we have breakfast with Jesus everyday so that if a judge passes a judgment that is not favorable to MPs then it is censured,” he said.

Earlier, the Chief Justice had put off a case challenging Justice Gacheche’s orders to Monday following an application by the chairman of the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission.

Mr Muthaura has also denied any wrong doing and challenged anyone to prove claims that he influenced the Government Printer to delay publication of the gazette notice.

On Thursday, government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua asserted that the IIBRC sent the document for printing after hours, and before it had been approved by the Attorney General as required.


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