NAIROBI, Kenya July 30 – The Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi will on Wednesday afternoon rule whether the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Report dismissing the petition to eject the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman and nine Commissioners from office is admissible.
This is after Ugenya MP David Ochieng and his Ugunja counterpart Opiyo Wandayi questioned why the committee leadership refused to append a Minority Report as per Standing Orders after five MPs held a dissenting opinion.
“Five MPs prepared and delivered a Minority Report that they wanted to be appended to this report and instead of that being done something called Minority Views was presented to this House as part of the report,” said Ochieng who is among the five who disagreed with the Committee Report.
Tom Kajwang (Ruaraka), Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Christine Ombaka (Siaya County Woman Representative) and Aghostinho Neto (Ndhiwa) are the other MPs who objected the committee report.
Wandayi added: “We shall be setting a dangerous precedent if we shall be seen to be muzzling the views of the minority not only in this chamber but also in the committees.”
According to minutes in the Committee Report tabled on July 17, majority of the 29-member House time voted to expunge the Minority Report because it amounted to presenting new evidence.
The five ODM MPs had recommended that the IEBC commissioners be suspended from office to allow President Uhuru Kenyatta to sets up a tribunal to look into allegations of gross misconduct and mismanagement of public finances in the procurement of the Biometric Voter Registration and Electronic Voter Identification Devices.
Among the evidence the ODM MPs wants the House to consider is the recently published Auditor-General’s Special Audit on the Procurement of Electronic Voter Devices used in the March 2013 General Election which recommends that the IEBC chairman Issack Hassan, suspended CEO James Oswago and former Finance Minister Njeru Githae take responsibility for the unclear strategy, planning, budgeting and execution of the last poll.
Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso who presided over Wednesday morning’s sitting said the Speaker would rule whether debate on the Committee Report will proceed without the Minority Report.
The Committee Report notes that majority of the committee members opted to apply provisions in Standing Order No. 199 which gives them the choice to determine the inclusion of the minority report.
Standing Order No. 199 (9) states “a report of a Select Committee including any Minority Report, together with the minutes of the proceedings of the committee, and with such note or record of any evidence by the committee as the committee may deem fit, shall be laid on the Table of the House by the chairperson of the select committee, or the vice-chairperson or by a member authorised by the committee on its behalf within fourteen days of the conclusion of its proceedings.”
In recommending that the House dismiss the petition, the Samuel Chepkonga-led House team agreed that the petitioner, Wafula Buke did not provide any material evidence to establish and prove allegations of gross misconduct, serious violation of the Constitution, grounds of incompetence against the chairperson or members of the IEBC.