NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 9 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed Lilian Wanjiku Wahome chair an eight-member team to fill post at the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy.
Other members of the team include Commissioner of Prisons Isaiah Osugo, Maryanne Njau (Office of Attorney General), Anglican Church of Kenya Provincial Secretary Reverend Canon Rosemary Mbogo, Kenya National Commissioner on Human Rights (KNCHR) Commissioner Evelyn Samba and Principal Administrative Secretary in the Office of the President Kennedy Kihara.
National Gender and Equality Commissioner (NGEC) Florence Nyokabi Wachira and Oscar Warfar complete the list of appointees.
Once the panel is constituted in accordance with Section 8, the Panel shall, within seven days of its convening, by advertisement in at least two daily newspapers of national circulation, invite applications from persons who qualify for appointment as members of the Committee under Section 5(1)(b).
The Selection Panel shall consider the applications to determine their compliance with the provisions of the Constitution and Power of Mercy Act and will publish the names of the shortlisted applicants and the qualified applicants in at least two daily newspapers of national circulation.
The Panel will then conduct interviews of the shortlisted persons in public and thereafter recommend to the President ten suitably qualified persons for appointment as members.
The President shall, within seven days of receipt of the shortlisted persons under subsection (2), by notice in the Gazette appoint seven members from among the persons recommended by the panel.
Members of the Committee, apart from the Attorney-General and Cabinet Secretary, shall hold office, for a single term of five years, and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.
The Power of Mercy Advisory Committee is a constitutional body whose core mandate is to advise the President on the exercise of the power of mercy.
The Constitution confers upon the President a prerogative power which entails granting pardon to reformed and rehabilitated convicted criminal offenders deserving early release from prison.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had in October signed commutation documents turning all death sentences into life jail terms.
Subsequently 2,747 former Death Row convicts (2,655 males and 92 females) are currently serving life imprisonments.
Invoking the Power of Mercy provided by Article 133 of the Constitution, he also signed a pardon warrant and released 102 long-term convicts following thorough vetting by the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee.
The last commutation of death sentences to life imprisonment was done in 2009 by President Mwai Kibaki.
The President had during the Mashujaa Day celebration announced that he has pardoned 7,000 petty offenders who were about to complete their sentences.