NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – Speaker Kenneth Marende has begun giving his eagerly-awaited ruling on the controversial nominations to the post of Chief Justice, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Controller of Budget.
The nominations made last week by President Mwai Kibaki have been rejected by Prime Minister Raila Odinga who says he was not consulted as required by the new Constitution.
Here are the live proceedings;
4.45pm – Speaker ends his ruling with a memorable quote.
"Few countries have had a second chance as we have had. To my mind it will be a pity and a severe indictment of our leadership if in time to come there will be no trace that they leant from history,"
4.43pm – Speaker reminds the House of the post election violence emphasising that this was caused by disagreement over a vote which was not contested in court owing to the lack of confidence in the Judiciary. He regrets that the process of appointing a new Chief Justice which was to restore the confidence of the Judiciary was now been contested.
4.42pm – Speaker calls for the upholding of the culture of constitutionalism
4.41pm – Speaker says the window remains open and hope that time will come when there will be no contest on the constitutionalism and procedure of the nominations.
4.39pm – Speaker forwards the two letters to the departmental committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and Finance Planning and Trade according to their specific mandate. Committees to carry out inquiry and present report on Thursday next week.
4.38pm – He says he withholds any comment or determination on the veracity and weight to be accorded on the objection letter from the Prime Minister
4.37pm – Speaker rules that it is not appropriate to rule at this point.
4.36pm – The speaker announces that from a constitutional legal and procedural point of view a summary of determinations not possible or desirable.
4.36pm – He says other players that have interest have not been consulted by the plenary arguments by MPs.
4.34pm – Speaker says the correct procedure when he receives nominations should be to present the same to the relevant committee to evaluate whether they were made within the law including public participation and constitutionalism.
4.31pm – Speaker emphasises that the issue has showed that there is need for enough participation by the public in the implementation process of the Constitution.
4.30pm Speaker acknowledges the \’learned contributions\’ members made on Tuesday during debate.
4.29pm – Speaker says it is the first time he had to determine the legality of receiving two communications on nominees from the same government.
4.26pm – Speaker says he received a letter of the nominees from the President on January 31, and a day later, a protest letter from the Prime Minister.
4.25pm – Light moment as Speaker says he needs to take a sip of water.
4.24pm – Speaker says the main question is whether the House is seized of the matter in respect to the nominees.
4.22pm – Speaker says the point of order raised by Imanyara that he stops debate on the names is not valid since no motion had been filed for debate.
4.18pm – Speaker turns to the issues raised but he says he cannot address all points of order raised by members on Tuesday during debate. He emphasizes that he will mainly address the argument that the appointments were not done within the constitution and therefore could not be considered by the House or any committee.
4.16pm – Speaker says that his interpretation does not interfere with the court\’s power to interpret the law but that the Judiciary has no exclusivity in the matter.
4.13pm – Speaker says he has a constitutional duty to interpret the Constitution to the extent a matter arises in the House that borders on a matter of interpretation. Says the House cannot adjourn and seek the interpretation from another body.
4.10pm Speaker says he has jurisdiction to rule on the mater. He says that he has ruled in the past that Parliament has power to decide how it shall conduct its affairs and protect its sovereignty and interference. Dismisses those who claimed he has no power to rule on the matter.
4.09pm – Speaker will also determine whether the Judicial Service Commission has a role to play in recruiting the officers and whether there were proper consultations.
4.08pm – Speaker says Imanyara tabled letter from PM Raila Odinga objecting to the nominees.
4.07pm – He says that the ruling will show whether he has powers to rule on the matter or if it lies with courts to interpret.
4.06pm – Speaker reminds House that issue was raised by Gitobu Imanyara on Tuesday.
4.05pm – Speaker Kenneth Marende begins reading his ruling.
4.02pm – Speaker announces a half day seminar for MPs on the East African Community integration.
4.00pm – Question time ends.
2.40pm – Backbenchers ask questions as set out in the Order Paper.
2.35pm – Speaker conducts prayers as is customary.
2.30pm – Speaker walks into the chamber.