NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19 – Senators in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee were on Thursday forced to sit and wait for almost two hours as members of the public failed turn up and present their views on the Impeachment Procedure Bill.
The Committee chaired by Nandi Senator Samson Cherarkey then resolved to call off the public hearings which was planned to take place from 10am till noon.
Cherarkey announced July 31 as the new date for receiving public views.
“We were expecting stakeholders such as the Council of Governors, the Kenya Law Reform Commission, Law Society of Kenya and Kenyans in general to come give their input into this instrumental piece of legislation but no one has come,” he said.
Kenyans can alternatively send their written memorandum to the Committee by using the Parliamentary e-mail address and postal address.
“We are also trying to ensure that we don’t have frivolous and vexatious impeachment motions from the members of the county assembly. We are not in any way doubting their capacity, but we giving them a particular threshold or standard so that by the time it reaches the level of Senate or of the National Assembly, there are some minimum requirements to ensure that we stick to the spirit and the substance of the Constitution,” stressed the Commitee chairman.
Senators Mithika Linturi (Meru) and Mohamed Faki (Mombasa) appealed to Kenyans to take advantage of the new date and present their views on the Bill that seeks to clearly set out procedures that would ensure justice for individuals facing impeachment such as the President and his deputy, the governor and deputy, Cabinet Secretaries and the County Executive Committee Members.
“Today is also a good day because, the members of public will be told that the Committee on Legal Affairs sat waiting for you to give your ideas on this Bill; you never showed up. You were extended another date, and you never showed up,” said Linturi.
“If the Bill were to be assented to law then nobody should challenge it because we did want was humanly possible to ensure participation by the public.”
The Bill gives the House Speakers veto powers to determine the admissibility of impeachment motions while respective speakers of county assemblies will also determine the admissibility of motions against governors and the deputies.
The Bill further suggests the period within which court proceeding on impeachment would be concluded.
Cherarkey who is the sponsor of the Bill said the legislation draws from past experiences in which impeachment proceedings, especially those against governors, caused much anxiety by dragging on endlessly and at great inconvenience to the individuals and the public.