, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 10 – Kenyans will now have to wait until next week to know the fate of the controversial list of judicial nominations after two Parliamentary Committees probing the issue sought more time to complete their work.
The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende agreed to extend their mandate until Tuesday next week to enable them finalise their reports.
"Please Mr Namwamba and Mr Okemo note the whole country is waiting with bated breath as to the outcome of the two committees so that you try to expedite," Mr Marende said.
Justice and Legal Affairs committee Chairman Ababu Namwamba told the House that they are yet to finalise establishing the constitutionality of President Mwai Kibaki\’s judicial nominations.
"The Committee understands the eagerness in this House, and the Chair, and the nation to receive this report, but the Committee also believes that, that urgency notwithstanding, the Chair, this House and the nation deserve to get the best possible report," Mr Namwamba said.
Mr Namwamba pleaded with the House for the extension citing the huge volume of evidence that have been referred to the committee by some of the persons who have appeared before it.
Finance and Trade Committee Chairman Chris Okemo also said they needed more time to conclude their probe on the appointment of the Controller of Budget.
"We have a number of witnesses; we have gathered a lot of evidence… we are in the process and we do believe in order to serve the best interest of this country, that we do a good job and in order to do that we want to take advantage of the weekend to actually retreat and go and do a thorough job," he said.
Mr Marende had initially asked the two committees to report back to the House on Thursday afternoon to enable him make a ruling on whether due legal process was followed in making the nominations.
He also lauded the committees for burning the midnight oil in trying to meet the Speaker\’s deadline after he referred the matter to them last week.
Members of the Justice and Legal Affairs committee had earlier met with officials of the Judicial Service Commission at County Hall.
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga\’s aides have appeared before the two committees to give their views on the legality of the nominations.
Several watchdog bodies opposing the nominations have also presented their arguments.
Follow the author at https://twitter.com/Lwanambisi