NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 26 -With just a day before Kenya marks a year after the new Constitution was promulgated, Senior Counsel Paul Muite has said that the country has made great strides in terms of transparency in appointments to public offices.
In an interview with Capital News, Mr Muite said that the constitution had empowered the public to scrutinise the appointments, as well as having a say in the recruitment of the key public servants.
“I first like the fact that we passed this Constitution because it was an achievement in itself. The main achievement for me is the fact that the executive knows that it is not business as usual,” he said.
“The attempt for example to unilaterally appoint the Chief Justice the Director of Public Prosecutions and the fact that President Kibaki had to climb down is testimony that the constitution is being felt,” he added.
Mr Muite urged the public to continue being vigilant of horse trading by the Executive in appointments to key public sector jobs.
“These people are not going to work for the President and the Prime Minister therefore the people must remain and not to allow this practice,” he said echoing the concerns of a section of legislators on the nominations for the Attorney General, the Controller of Budget and the Auditor General.
Mr Muite however warned that priority must be given to the key legislations and which must be put in place before the next general election.
“Parliament must identify the bill that are directly related to the election and give them propriety not to concentrate on bill that can be passed by the next parliament,” he said.
According to Mr Muite there must be no attempt to interpret the date for the next general election in any other manner as it is expressly provided for in the constitution under Article 101.
“There cannot be any doubt whatsoever about the intentions of the drafters of the Constitution. If they had wanted the date of the election to be other than the second Tuesday of every august, they would have made it clear so they would not have made it a crossword puzzle,” he said.
The former Kabete MP also warned that caution must be taken of politicians across the divide who pose a threat to change brought about by the Constitution by being in favour of the status quo
He said: “Moving forward we must know how to deal with those politicians who are derailing the process by wanting to maintain status quo, they do not want devolution and prefer a strong central government, they don’t want to be held accountable and want impunity to rein.”