NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 24 – National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has accused the National Treasury and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission of stalling recruitment of new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioners.
In a statement to newsrooms, Muturi said the two offices are yet to communicate the proposal for a send-off package for the outgoing IEBC team led by Chairman Issack Hassan.
He further claimed that the Sarah Serem-led SRC, which is constitutionally mandated to give guidelines on perks awarded to holders of public office, is yet to comment on the matter a month after Parliament adopted a report by the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee formed to look into ways to electoral reforms.
“The report of the Justice committee had recognised this and its recommendations had proposed that a process being initiated by the Executive and Salaries body to give a send-off package to the exiting Commissioners.
Needless to say, there are no offers from National Treasury coupled with loud silence by the SRC to facilitate execution of this agreement by the current occupiers to vacate office. By and by, the country might be losing the goodwill of this gentlemen’s agreement as time flies towards the next general elections,” the Speaker said
Muturi is concerned that the delay in recruiting the new commissioner will affect the preparations for next year’s General Election.
The IEBC Chairman and the eight Commissioners had given verbal commitment to the Justice committee that once that process is concluded they would voluntarily resign.
Muturi who is currently in Tehran, Iran on official business, expressed concern that the delay in recruiting the new commissioners will affect the timetable for next year’s general election because the hiring exercise will only take place when there are vacancies to fill at the electoral body.
“It has become excruciatingly clear that the process of having a new electoral body in place instantaneously may not actually be as such,” Muturi.
Both Houses of Parliament passed the Elections Amendment Bill, 2016 and submitted to President Uhuru Kenyatta for assent.
The President signed the Bill into Law paving way to their publication September 20, 201.
“Pursuant to provisions of Article 116(2) of the Constitution, the Act will commence on 4th October, 2016 being 14 days from the date of publication. Ostensibly, there is no effective law as yet to enable constitution of the IEBC Selection Panel by various entities as stipulated in the Act,” Speaker Muturi stated.
The Speaker however, assured the country that the Public Service Commission (PSC) has begun the process of communicating with various stakeholders in readiness of putting in place the IEBC Selection Panel.
“When the 4th of October 2016 comes, and the law takes effect, Parliament will swiftly forward its nominees for the IEBC Selection Panel and gladly offer secretarial services to the panel as strictly required by the law. We take that job very seriously. For now, we are not yet there and as a matter of fact, both Houses of Parliament are on recess,” he stated.
Siaya Senator James Orengo who is a co-chair of the joint parliamentary committee had earlier this week expressed confidence that their recommendations to have the Hassan’s team vacate office by next week Friday will be achieved.
“The business of JPSC, is on course although there have been some delays which I have expressed myself in a written statement, but as we speak now if you look at the timelines and what is happening already, there’s every chance, with all the political goodwill that everything is going to happen and is going to be accomplished within the timeline that we have spelt out,” said Senator Orengo, who jointly chaired the 14 member House team with his Meru counterpart Kiraitu Murungi.