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Namwamba team loses grip in law process

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11- The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende has now directed Parliament\’s Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) to handle the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill due to the ongoing row in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

The move to rescue the Constitution implementation process until the wrangles within the committee are resolved comes after a meeting of the House Business Committee (HBC).

He further directed that the committee should report back to the House not later than May 23.

According to Mr Marende, the House Business Committee expressed concerns that the Legal Affairs committee was unable to operate prompting him to explore other means in order ensure that Bills meant for the implementation process are tabled in Parliament on time.

On Tuesday, the HBC expressed concern that wrangles at the crucial committee on Justice and Legal Affairs chaired by Budalang\’i MP Ababu Namwamba must be addressed before the Bill can proceed to the committee stage.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who chairs the HBC had on Sunday cited the lack of harmony in the committee as a hiccup in the process.

Nominated MP Amina Abdalla defended Party of National Unity members against allegation that they were responsible for stalling of implementation of the laws.

She instead blamed the Speaker\’s Office for failing to heed to letters from eight committee members who had demanded a fresh election after they had lost confidence in their chairman.

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"It would be unfair for the chair to keep repeating that it is members of that Committee that have refused yet our letter to that office is two months and twenty days to this day. I think the blame should go to the right office," she said.

"The Office of the Deputy Speaker has failed to resolve the matter and Standing Order 166 doesn\’t allow members to call a meeting unless the chairman does so," added the Nominated MP.

Mr Marende who has been negotiating a truce in the committee wrangles last week directed that Parliament by-passes the committee in the Bill processing stages if the internal wars persisted.

"I have not blamed the committee, I have only said that the committee has been facing challenges that have inevitably affected it work. I have not received a report from the Liaison Committee so obviously the implementation of the Constitution in so far as the passing of Bills in the House is concerned is delayed," Mr Marende said.

Operations at the have been paralysed following differences between Members of PNU and ODM over an attempt to oust Mr Namwamba as chairman.

Last Wednesday, ODM withdrew all its five members from the Parliamentary Committee.

Party Secretary General Anyang Nyong\’o said he had written to the Speaker of the National Assembly communicating the withdrawal and calling for a meeting to resolve the wrangles.

Government chief-whip Jakoyo Midiwo had de-whipped Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto and nominated MP Sophia Abdi for siding with PNU and named Sotik MP Joyce Laboso and nominated MP Rachael Shebesh to replace them.

The party has six seats on the Committee which are occupied by: Mr Namwamba, Millie Odhiambo, Isaac Ruto, Sofia Abdi and Olago Aluoch but it donated one seat to the PNU Coalition that was filled by Amina Abdalla in order for the committee to meet the one-third gender balance provision.

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PNU have five positions composed of MPs Njoroge Baiya, Abdikadir Mohammed, Eugene Wamalwa, Mutava Musyimi and George Nyamweya.

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