, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 29 – Jubilee Senators joined their colleagues from the National Assembly in pushing for crucial changes to election laws that they say as currently instituted, informed annulment of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in the August 8 election.
While moving the Motion on the Floor of the House on Thursday to have the establishment of a Select Committee to deliberate on the election-related laws, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen asked the Senators to rise to the occasion and work towards amending the laws to thwart future nullification of a presidential election on technicalities.
“These amendments are very important and they will ensure that future presidential elections do not get to be overturned due to procedural issues,” said Murkomen.
The proposed Senate committee is to compromise both Jubilee and the Minority Coalition members in the House who are expected to receive input from the public and all the other stakeholders.
The Majority Coalition in the House tabled its five members to the proposed Select Committee on Election Laws and it waiting for the Minority Coalition to submit its four members.
They are Senators Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo), Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu), Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) and Naomi Jillo (nominated).
The committee is expected to report back to the House before October 10 after the lawmakers resume from their short recess that started on Thursday.
Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji who supported the Motion criticized the Minority Coalition for failing to submit its list of preferred members to sit on the committee and urged them to attend the sittings and voice their concerns and not to opt for doing the same through press conferences.
“We ask our friends to submit their list of the members they wish to be in the committee so that we can chart a way forward on this matter,” said Haji.
The Opposition Senators were however strongly opposed to the Bill and the nine-member Select Committee that is to be formed.
Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri accused the Majority Coalition of using its numerical strength in the House to mutilate the Constitution, sentiments which were echoed by his Kisumu counterpart Fred Outa who said they will push for countywide mass action to block Jubilee’s attempt.
“You are simply using your tyranny of numbers to amend these laws so that you can benefit on the 26th of October but we will not allow the Constitution to be mutilated,” said Ongeri.
“Jubilee is pushing to amend these elections laws to bring chaos in this country. We will continue to hold protests to defeat this law taking this country back to dark days,” warned Outa.
The Bill sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Fatuma Dullo proposes the empowerment of IEBC vice-chairperson to declare the presidential election in the absence of the chairperson.
It also proposes that manually transmitted presidential results should be given prominence over the electronically transmitted results among other vital election laws that touch on the IEBC Act, the Election Act and the Elections Offences Act.