, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 30 – The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution commissioners will not be seeking an extension of their term in office come December 29th when their five-year-contract ends.
During an appearance before the Senate Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, CIC Chairman Charles Nyachae, Vice Chairperson Elizabeth Muli and Commissioner Kamotho Waiganjo said despite the fact that their job was not done; it was time for them to allow others to lead the institution.
“Whatever decision the National Assembly makes is not about us, because we are not continuing beyond December 29th this year. We are giving the lower house an opportunity to extend the life of CIC without us,” said Nyachae.
He said if Parliament declined to extend the term of the commission, then both houses of Parliament would be required to come up with a legal framework to oversee the implementation of the remaining sections of the Constitution that have yet to be fully implemented further warning that if this happened there would be a crisis and the lower House would have to take responsibility for the consequences.
Nyachae who has constantly come under attack from Members of Parliament over the mandate of the commission said even if the National Assembly chose to extend the commissions term, he would personally reject the offer.
“I will laud the National Assembly for having made the right decision in as far as extending the life of the commission is concerned and I will say – thank you very much, but there are other Kenyans who can serve,” he said.
Despite having to constantly state that they were not bitter, the commissioners pointed an accusing ‘finger’ at the National Assembly for frustrating them in some instances particularly when they questioned legislation passed by the House.
They said part of their decision to leave office was to give Parliament a chance to objectively determine the fate of the commission without subjecting it to criticism based on personalities within the commission.
“We have decided in the interest of the process in order to give the matter the correct level of objectivity, we have removed ourselves,” added Nyachae.
“If we don’t remove ourselves from that position, the decision will be made on other subjective factors, we owe the country an opportunity to say make that decision without considering whether it is Charles Nyachae. This is not about Charles Nyachae,” said Waiganjo.
He said it was important to sustain the momentum in the implementation of the laws particularly those on devolution to ensure the success of the new system of governance which is currently facing a myriad of challenges.
Already governors have disputed proposed amendments to various land Bills as proposed by the National Assembly which say greatly affect the counties and this CIC warns will result in a crisis.
Aside from the 18 Bills whose constitutional deadline was extended by one year Waiganjo said there were several other Bills numbering almost 50 that needed to be passed and implemented and hence the need to have an oversight commission.
“Some of this legislation has not even been published. What if this legislation is not published by 29th December? What is the status of the legislation in the absence of the commission?” posed Waiganjo.
Senators present among them, Stephen Sang’ (Nandi), Kembi Gitura (Murang’a), Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni), Fatuma Dullo (Nominated) and Kennedy Okong’o (Nyamira ) noted the need to ensure there was a transition body to deal with the issue when the term of CIC ends to prevent the National Assembly from taking advantage of the void and becomes a ‘rogue’ House.
Committee chairman Amos Wako concluded that it was necessary for the commissions’ term to be extended for at least two years even as a substantive institution was developed to review the quality of legislation passed by particularly the National Assembly.