, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – The Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) on Thursday invited public memoranda on the controversial Leadership and Integrity Bill saying concerns surrounding it must be resolved before it is enacted.
The Committee announced that it would hold a meeting with interested parties next Tuesday, singling out public backlash that the Bill had attracted.
Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed noted the need to settle any doubts before its August 27 deadline.
“We have heard some noise from a number of interested stakeholders so if you have any issues with that Bill for example if you want something added, removed or changed, let us hear from you,” he said.
“We will hold a meeting on Tuesday after which we’ll be able to carry amendments as the case may be,” he added.
The Bill underwent several significant changes including the removal of key clauses in some instances which undermined the spirit envisaged by the new Constitution.
Provisions touching on the declaration of assets by State and Public officers as laid out in Chapter Six of the Constitution were deleted by the Cabinet from the Bill raising a huge outcry from Kenyans.
Some civil societies even threatened to take legal action if the Bill was passed by Parliament in its mutilated form.
The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution had also expressed concerns over the significant changes made in the Bill arguing that it had been severely watered down.
Mohammed further announced that the committee would facilitate discussions around five other Bills that were also required to be passed by August 27.
He explained that the respective departmental committees would look at the remaining Bills.
“You notice some of them are very critical Bills and require a bit of discussion so other than the departmental committees, in this case either the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee or National Security, we in the CIOC will also be involved in their discussion,” he explained.
Mohammed also observed that there were other Bills that were not on the August 27 schedule but which were equally important.
He told journalists that next week’s discussions would also feature the said Bills.
“So we will again call the stakeholders that have urgent Bills for example on campaign financing, freedom of information, community land, the national government, basic education and many others which we feel should be in place before the next election,” Mohammed announced.
The committee also expressed concern with the delays that were being witnessed in the country’s police reforms.
Mohammed noted that there were delays in the establishment of the National Police Service Commission which had also slowed down the appointment of an Inspector General of Police.
“In addition, we have not yet appointed a substantive holder of the office of the Registrar of Political Parties and all those critical offices need to be filled before the elections,” he said.