Troubled Justice and Legal Affairs Committee disbanded

The House Business Committee has disbanded the wrangle-ridden Justice and Legal Affairs Committee allowing for its reconstitution.

The move comes after the latest attempt Tuesday evening to end the stalemate in the troubled committee by appointing a new chairman failed.  

The committee has been dogged by power struggles after its membership allied to PNU and two ODM rebel members moved to oust its chair Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba.

Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim, as the chairman of the Liaison Committee had asked the members of the committee to pick a new chair and get on with their mandate of ensuring that all constitutional laws are implemented.

The row in the committee began in February, when Mr Namwamba failed to woo the majority of the MPs in the team to reject President Kibaki’s nominees to the position of Chief Justice, Attorney General, Controller of Budget and Director of Public Prosecutions.

Majority of the committee members including nominated MP Amina Abdallah , George Nyamweya, Isaac Ruto, Eugene Wamalwa, Mutava Musymi  supported the President’s decision while Namwamba, and Millie Odhiambo were the few who opposed the nominations terming them unconstitutional.

The two further went ahead to present the minority view in parliament, a move that irked the committee members who moved to oust the chairman through a no confidence vote after informing the clerk.

The stalemate saw the committee fail to transact crucial business since ODM insisted it will not allow Namwamba’s ouster as his position was politically negotiated under the National Accord that saw PNU given the chairmanship of the Constitution Implementation and Oversight Committee (CIOC).

The wrangles in the committee have persisted for months paralyzing business forcing the CIOC to take up scrutiny of constitutional bills.

Tuesday’s attempt to resolve the impasse through fresh election of the chairman flopped forcing the house business committee to disband the committee. 

The five MPs who turned up for the meeting held at Parliament buildings could not pick a new chairman due to lack of quorum.

Those who attended the meeting against a membership of 11 MPs were vice chairman Njoroge Baiya (Githunguri), Abdikadir Mohammed (Mandera Central), Eugene Wamalwa (Saboti), Amina Abdalla (nominated) and Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu).

The next battle will now come to the floor of the house after the whips from PNU and ODM present their list of members for parliament’s adoption



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