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Censure of Speaker impossible

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – Lands Minister James Orengo says a censure motion against House Speaker Kenneth Marende is impossible.

The Lands Minister stated that for the Motion to succeed, the Standing Orders would have to be amended and this goes against the spirit of the new Constitution.

He further pointed out that that the same holds true for a Motion contesting the Speaker\’s decision to throw out the list of nominees to the offices of Chief Justice, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Controller of Budget presented to him by President Mwai Kibaki

"The only route for the House to countermand the decision by House Speaker Kenneth Marende is to have the Standing Orders amended.  I have seen Hon Shikuku speaking to the media today and I support his view," he explained.

"I can propose that if you are found guilty of murder you should be allowed to pay a fine but that is not in consonance with the law. If I want that to happen, I have to change the law," he said.

Speaking at his offices, Mr Orengo said that Mr Marende acted under his mandate in rejecting the judicial nominations.

"If you look at Standing Order 47 as a whole, it gives the Speaker a mandate and this mandate was given by the House because the House is the one that enacted these Standing Orders," he stated.

"These Standing Orders as they are today give the Speaker the authority and the mandate to determine whether a Motion is inadmissible or otherwise."

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His sentiments came amid claims by Assistant Minister Peter Munya that the ODM side of the coalition Government influenced House Speaker, Kenneth Marende to reject President Kibaki\’s appointments to the four key constitutional offices.

Mr Munya stated that the ODM wing of the Government led by Prime Minister Raila Odinga was behind the ruling where the Speaker overruled the President and declared that the nominations were unconstitutional.

"We cannot allow some people to usurp the powers of the President through Parliament. The Speaker cannot overrule the Head of State and deny MPs who are the people\’s representatives a chance to debate on the appointments," he said.

The Assistant Minister at the same time took a swipe at the constitutional court for deferring the matter to March 2, saying the magnitude of the case required it be expedited.

He stated that the PNU side would not agree to be arm-twisted and defended President Kibaki saying the Head of State only needed to consult the PM, and not necessarily agree when making such appointments.

Mr Munya also accused ODM of re-introducing an imperial Executive and frustrating implementation of the new Constitution.

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