PM was duly consulted, insists government

January 29, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 29 – Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua has maintained that Prime Minister Raila Odinga was consulted on the appointment of the three judicial officials and controller of budget named on Friday.

This comes amid controversy, with the PM saying he was shocked and dismayed after President Mwai Kibaki made nominations to the post of Chief Justice, Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions without due consultations as required.

Dr Mutua said on Saturday, discussions between the two principals continued via correspondence even as the Prime Minister was away in Ethiopia.

The two principals are said to have agreed on three out of the four names of appointees.

"By Friday morning, all but one of the appointments had been fully agreed upon. Later in the day, President Kibaki came up with a solution that addressed the concerns of the Prime Minister and the final list was ready for announcement," Dr Mutua said.

On Friday, President Kibaki nominated Justice Alnashir Visram to be the new Chief Justice of Kenya, Professor Githu Muigai Attorney General, and lawyer Kioko Kilikumi as the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Prime Minister\’s camp has said that although discussions had been underway, the two principals had agreed to postpone discussions until President Mwai Kibaki returned from the African Union Summit in Ethiopia.

Dr Mutua however refuted those claims arguing that it was agreed that the names would be released before the President Kibaki headed to Ethiopia.

"The President was very clear that the appointments needed to be made before the AU summit," he said adding, "consultations don\’t need to be 100 percent in consensus otherwise the country would never move forward."

It also emerged that the names were to be released two weeks ago, but postponed to allow for further talks between the two.

The naming of the judicial officials has generated a lot of debate with some quarters saying that it was done unconstitutionally. They say that the president did not allow the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) time to vet the nominees and give their input.

Dr Mutua however said the appointments were an Executive decision that did not require further input from the JSC.

"The constitution is very clear on some of these appointments will be made without the Judicial Service Commission.  That is why we didn\’t not announce deputy CJ and Supreme Court judges. The constitution is very clear that these were to be executive appointments," he said.


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