Report on judicial nominees to be ready Saturday

February 11, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 11 – The parliamentary committee on Justice and Legal Affairs has retreated to write its report on the inquiry over the controversial nominations to the office of Chief Justice, Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions.

The committee is holding a two-day retreat at a city hotel and has promised to finalise its report by Saturday in readiness for tabling in the House on Tuesday.

"We know the expectations of the Kenyans on this matter and we will not disappoint," Chairman Ababu Namwamba told journalists.

Mr Namwamba said they had collected "sufficient information" to help them write a comprehensive report.

"We have received 11 oral submissions and we did find all of those relevant as we seek to answer the question before this committee," he said.

Those who have made representations include the Office of the President and that of the Prime Minister, the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution, Judicial Service Commission, and the Law Society of Kenya among others.

The committee held public hearings this week as part of investigations over a dispute pitting President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga over the nomination of Alnashir Visram as Chief Justice alongside Githu Muigai as Attorney General and Kioko Kilokumi as the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The PM has accused the President of making 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 counter protest letter saying he was not consulted.

The team was initially meant to table its report on Thursday this week but it sought extra time to compile it and was allowed to table it next Tuesday. The Committee on Trade and Finance is evaluating the nomination of William Kirwa as Controller of Budget.

The committee has at times clashed in their hearings along party lines but Mr Namwamba says their report will be objective and factual.

"We have made a pledge to each other to uphold the highest fidelity to the Constitution and to the integrity of the institution of Parliament," he said.

Mr Namwamba however appreciated the political differences exist.

"We are political players and we represent political parties… that is a reality," he said.

Besides the reports by the committee, the Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende will also make a ruling on the constitutionality of the matter.

Already the High Court has declared President Kibaki\’s judicial nominations illegal. 

In his ruling Justice Daniel Musinga last week declared the nominations unconstitutional and said President Mwai Kibaki violated the Constitution in the appointments including ignoring the gender balance requirement.

Mr Marende on Thursday hinted that the court verdict could have a strong bearing his decision next Tuesday since it was binding.

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