MPs want Kibaki, PM to explain nominees stand

February 7, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – The Committee on Trade and Finance has now asked President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to appear before it and justify their positions on the nomination of William Kirwa as the Controller of Budget.

Committee Chairman Chris Okemo said on Monday that the two principals can alternatively send their aides to the committee that will sit on Tuesday and Wednesday. Mr Okemo said they will also receive representations from the Commission on the implementation of the Constitution on Tuesday.

He also welcomed views from interested parties including the Law Society of Kenya, International Centre for Jurists and FIDA Kenya.

Members of public can also send their memorandum through the Speaker\’s office by Wednesday evening.

"We are interested in public participation, which is very clearly spelt out in the Constitution," said Mr Okemo.

The team is scheduled to table its report in Parliament on Thursday.

Mr Okemo added: "The ruling of the High Court is not binding and does not stop us from doing our work. We will compile the report, which will go to Parliament, and Parliament will decide."

The two Principals have been locked in a dispute over the nomination of Mr Kirwa alongside that of Justice Alnashir Visram as Chief Justice, Githu Muigai as Attorney General and Kioko Kilikumi as Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs is evaluating the three judicial nominees and is also expected to table its report in the House on Thursday.

The PM has accused the President of conducting the nominations unilaterally while the President has maintained "sufficient consultations" took place. While the President sent the controversial list of names to Parliament the PM sent a protest letter saying he was not consulted.

National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende referred the matter to the two departmental committees with a mandate to evaluate whether the Constitution was followed. In his ruling last Thursday the Speaker said his ruling had left a window of opportunity for the principals to deal with the matter.

But on Monday the President and the Premier met and "agreed to respect the ongoing parliamentary process and its outcome," according to a statement by the Presidential Press Service.

A statement by the premier\’s advisor Salim Lone later said "the PM is confident that Parliament will send back the nominations to the two principals."

"The President and the PM will then ensure that the constitutional requirements for the submission of such nominations is adhered to," Mr Lone said.

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