NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 17, Members of the National Assembly are on Tuesday expected to sit late in order to consider the report of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on the suitability of EACC Chairperson Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, IEBC Chairperson nominee Wafula Chebukati and six Commissioners.
Majority Leader Aden Duale (Garissa Township) moved a Procedural Motion to limit debate on the approval of the nominees to a maximum of four hours each when the MPs reconvene at 2.30pm for the afternoon sitting, where they will formally begin considering the recommendations in the House Committee Reports.
“Mr Speaker, you will realise that all members, will speak for five minutes each and my assumption is that if we start business by 2.30pm, we will have concluded the First Motion by at least for 4.30pm. Thereafter, the Second Motion will begin by 4.30pm and can go till 8pm or 8.30pm to give members time to interrogate this matter,” he said.
House Speaker Justin Muturi adjourned the morning sitting to allow MPs to read the reports and make an informed opinion as they consider the nominees.
Duale with the support Minority Whip Thomas Mwadeghu (Voi) moved the motion to restrict each MP’s contribution to a maximum of five minutes when considering the nominee for appointment as the Chairperson of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) including the Leader of the Majority Party and the Leader of the Minority Party, and that five minutes before the expiry of the time, the chairperson or a designated member of the JLAC be called upon to make concluding remarks on the debate before a vote.
MPs contributing to the motion for consideration of nominees for appointment as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson and Commissioners will be restricted to speaking for a maximum 10 minutes each other member – except for the Leader of the Majority Party and the Leader of the Minority Party – who shall be limited to a maximum of 15 minutes each, and that 10 minutes before the expiry of the time, the chairperson or a designated member of the JLAC shall be called upon to make concluding remarks before the matter is called for a vote.
Mwadeghu supported the motion saying that MPs must be allowed sufficient time to debate suitability of the nominees.
“The sole business before the House today is to consider the suitability of these nominees. We have been called for this Special Sitting to come ensure that they are persons who have been cleared by the National Assembly,” the Minority Coalition Chief Whip said.
Githunguri MP Njoroge Baiya who serves in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee had earlier presented the report and recommendations, urging the National Assembly Special Sitting to support their findings on the suitability of Wabukala and the Chebukati and six electoral commissioners.
The committee found Chebukati suitable for appointment after he exhibited requisite experience and qualifications which qualifies him for the position of IEBC Chairperson.
“The candidate exhibited impressive knowledge of topical issues including demonstrated understanding of administration and management principles required to address the challenges facing the IEBC. The nominee exhibited a proper understanding of the doctrine of separation of powers which requires the three branches of government to exercise their powers in a manner that respects their respective constitutional territories while upholding the rule of law and the principle of checks and balances,” read the committee findings.
The committee was full of praise when it came to registering it findings on the nomination of New York based Roselyne Kwamboka Akombe who until her nomination was Senior Political Advisor to United Nations Secretary General’s Office.
“The nominee exhibited expert knowledge on management and challenges of conducting elections in different countries around the world. Dr Akombe has deep knowledge of electoral process and political affairs gained as an adviser to the United Nations Under-Secretary-General,” said the committee in its report.
“The candidate exhibited impressive knowledge of topical issues including demonstrated understanding of administration and management principles required to address the challenges facing the IEBC. The nominee exhibited a proper understanding of the public service and the diversity and uniqueness of the Kenya cultures,” the committee said in regards to the nomination of former Ambassador to Russia, Paul Kibiwott Kurgat.
Once the names are approved, they will be forwarded to President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointment. Thereafter they will be sworn into office by the Chief Justice David Maraga.