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Archive for March 26th, 2010

Karua fixed Kenyan MPs with tough review Act

Posted by Administrator on March 26, 2010

BY ANTHONY KAGIRI

Debate on the new Constitution has reached fever pitch and politicians are hitting the roof over proposed amendments. An attempt to twist the law so that MPs can make changes by a simple majority was thwarted earlier in the week, thanks to National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende.

 The Committee of Experts has done its work, and I extol the members for ignoring demands from politicians no matter how thunderous some shouted.

The churches aped politicians and campaigned vigorously for their demands but like the lawmakers they were largely ignored. However aggrieved the two groups are, they have very little options left. The MPs have an uphill task of convincing 145 colleagues to pass any amendments.

Further, if the amendment(s) pass the draft will have to go back to the Committee of Experts. Here’s the catch: The CoE is not under any express obligation to incorporate the changes.

In fact, should the experts deem the amendments unpalatable, they have the leeway to dismiss them altogether. Turning to the religious leaders, they are also left with the option of petitioning MPs to move their desired amendments (which could in turn be discarded by the CoE). The last option would be to use the pulpit to lobby followers to reject the draft at the referendum.

But even then, I know a good number of faithful will vote with their conscience. The review process is propelled with clear timelines and not even the Head of State can alter the road map.

 This is just a snip preview of the strength of the Review Act, which virtually protects the draft from undue mutilation.

Martha Wangari Karua may have bowed out of the Cabinet a frustrated woman and subsequently lost her place in the newspaper headlines but her legacy remains, although unnoticed.

I guess most of us remember her for the passion she exhibited when she defended President Mwai Kibaki after the disputed 2007 Presidential results. Today I want to give you another reason to remember her.

As the Justice and Constitutional Affairs she drafted the Review Act that is guiding the review process. Ms Karua insulated the process from any selfish interests and sealed loopholes that would have given politicians an opportunity to unjustifiably interfere with it.

The only stumbling block to the process is a referendum. In very unlikely fashion of a politician, Ms Karua boxed his colleagues by ensuring that whether or not they like the draft, they cannot stop the review process! Despite fears that the two-decade quest for a new Constitution could hit a dead end, I am very optimistic Kenya will finally get a new set of laws.

A while ago I formed the ‘Name and Fame Network’ to appreciate outstanding Kenyans. And today, I add the name of Martha Wangari Karua to the roll of fame.

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Councillors use coffin in Kenya protest

Posted by Administrator on March 26, 2010

An empty coffin with photo of Mayor Majiwa

An empty coffin with photo of Mayor Majiwa

By Simon Ndong’a

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – A section of Nairobi councillors took to the streets on Friday pushing for the resignation of Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa over the cemetery scandal.

The civic leaders presented a petition to the office of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi in which they demanded that Mr Majiwa vacates office within 10 days.

Led by nominated councilor Mutunga Mutungi, the councilors who carried a coffin on the streets said that strong action on the mayor will ensure zero tolerance on corruption at City Hall.

“As Nairobians, we do not have farms. That is why we are petitioning the honorable Deputy Prime Minister because we have an obligation to give our burial land to the people of this City,” he stated.

Mr Mutungi said should the petition be ignored, they will mobilise Kenyans in a bid to pile more pressure on the government.

“We will still go back to our people who are rate payers and actually tell them that the Deputy Prime Minister is not taking action and we need them to act,” he explained. “Since they are the rate payers, we will come up with a decision which might entail them being asked not to pay their rates until action is taken.”

Acting Local Government Permanent Secretary Francis Musyimi received the petition and said that the ministry would look into it.

“We have received your memorandum and this means the message will be conveyed to the Deputy Prime Minister,” he stated.
 
The councillors invoked section 53 B (1) of the Local Government Act in a bid to disqualify Mr Majiwa in the light of his alleged direct involvement in the cemetery scandal.

Kasarani ward councillor John Njoroge said that the resignation of the Mayor would restore the public’s confidence in the council. He stressed the need for the council to urgently undertake any acquisition of land in an open and transparent manner in a bid to cancel out the mistakes that have bedeviled it.

Mr Majiwa has always maintained that he will not resign despite being implicated in a cemetery land purchase scandal in which more than Sh259 million was fraudulently paid out.

He instead accused the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission of breaking into his house and stealing personal documents.

 

Source: Capital FM

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