House team recommends disbanding of CIC on term expiry

By: JOHN NGIRACHU

The parliamentary committee that oversees the implementation of the Constitution has recommended that the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution be disbanded when its term expires.

The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) said in a report tabled last evening that the life of the CIC should not be extended.

“The country should focus on supporting and strengthening other institutions charged with respective constitutional implementation mandate,” the committee said in the report tabled by its chairman, Githunguri MP Njoroge Baiya.

It recommended that Parliament support the strengthening of the Kenya Law Reform Commission by giving it the ability by law to operate independent of the Executive.

This would also involve giving it its own budget, enabling it to undertake its programmes without having to rely on the Executive.

“Further, the Office of the Attorney-General should facilitate the administrative and functional takeover of CIC upon the expiry of its term,” CIOC said.

RENDERED DEFUNCT

If the National Assembly agrees with the CIOC and adopts the report, the CIC would be rendered defunct in a few weeks’ time when its term comes to an end.

This means that the commissioners would go home, with the staff seconded there from the Executive being redeployed and those working on contract also following the commissioners.

The CIC’s position on whether their term ought to be extended has changed several times over the past three months. The commission, through its chairman Charles Nyachae, had initially said it ought not to be extended.

A month ago, Mr Nyachae indicated a change of heart, telling Parliament in a letter: “In view of the outstanding issues which clearly show that key components of the Constitution are yet to be fully implemented, it is our opinion that the most prudent and effective option would be to extend the term of the CIC.”

The commission was then concerned that key legislation, such as that on implementing the two-thirds gender rule and the one to have marginalised groups represented in Parliament, is yet to be enacted.

The law to align the Constituency Development Fund with the Constitution is also yet to be passed. It has been introduced in the National Assembly via the first reading.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION