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Speaker orders nominees report by Wednesday

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – The Speaker of the National Assembly has ordered the parliamentary committee on Justice and Legal Affairs to table its report on the scrutiny of nominees to three constitutional offices, by 12.30pm on Wednesday.

This follows failure by the committee chaired by Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba to table its report for the second time, despite being given additional time last week. The committee was initially supposed to table its report last Thursday but asked for more time to compile it.

When Mr Namwamba was called upon to table his committee’s report, he came with a fresh request to the House, asking to get more time to vet the individual nominees.

He was however rebuked by the Speaker Kenneth Marende, for failing to report to the House despite the fact that the issue has gripped the country.

"You must table a report one way or the other. Even if it is one sentence… even if it is a minority or majority report or both, that must be tabled," ruled the Speaker.

He added: This is a matter of grave national importance that is keeping the whole country anxious. The country is waiting with baited breath."

Mr Namwamba\’s team has been scrutinising the nomination of Attorney General, Chief Justice and Director of Public Prosecution following a dispute between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

"We have our report ready but a matter has risen in the committee that has necessitated to seek the indulgence of the House to enable us consider the vetting of the nominees," Mr Namwamba pleaded.

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The Committee held numerous meetings last week but its retreat last weekend failed to produce a report as expected after divisions emerged among members.

On Sunday Chairman Ababu Namwamba had indicated that the committee had failed to meet its Saturday deadline of finalising the report but said they hoped to do so on Monday.

The Finance and Trade committee which was examining the nomination of the however tabled its report on the nomination of William Kirwa as the Controller of Budget and received praise from the Speaker.

"I want to commend the committee for doing everything within their powers including sitting up to 12 hours a day to finish the report. On behalf of this House I thank you for your industry," the Speaker said.

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