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MPs allege threats over nominations

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 13 – Some members of the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs have allegedly received threats as the committee works to beat Tuesday\’s deadline for a report on the controversial judicial nominations.

Nominated MP Millie Odhiambo and Kisumu Town West MP Olago Aluoch on Sunday claimed that they had received threats that the government intended to withdraw their security detail.

The two legislators linked the threats to the stands they had taken during the on-going deliberations by the committee that was meeting at the Windsor Golf Club.

“It’s interesting that it comes at a time when I have made my position clear in this committee which is contrary to some positions that some people would want me to take,” Ms Odhiambo said adding that she would not relent on her position over the nominations.

“Perhaps what some people don’t know is that I’m a person of faith and I will not be intimidated. The Bible says that for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. I stand for justice, so they (those issuing the threats) can go to heaven, earth, sea, water, I don’t care! They think I was nominated because I’m a flower girl?” the angry legislator quipped.

She claimed that two other top legislators had also received the same threats.

The Kisumu Town West MP on the other hand said the timing of the threats was suspicious.

“We are not able to get reason why there is a need at this stage to withdraw our security and this is information I intend to take up with the Commissioner of police and the Speaker of Parliament,” Mr Aluoch said.

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Committee chairman Ababu Namwamba has meanwhile refuted reports that his team had agreed to support some of the nominations.

“The task we have had is to look into the constitutionality of the nominations to the three offices of Chief justice, Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions and this committee is not considering nominees, it is considering the process and how it relates to the Constitution,” he said in a media briefing.

Mr Namwamba said that no recommendation had been adopted yet, and that they expected to conclude their sittings on Monday and have their report ready for tabling in Parliament on Tuesday.

There has been a stand-off over the judicial nominations with President Mwai Kibaki being accused of single handedly making the decision without proper consultations with Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

This made Speaker Kenneth Marende to refer the matter to the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee to look into whether the process was constitutional.

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