Monday, January 31, 2011

Kibaki faulted as Imanyara claims list not original

Cabinet Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara have termed President Kibaki’s move to ‘unilaterally’ nominate Judiciary chiefs as unconstitutional.

This came as it emerged the names Prime Minister Raila Odinga was shown when he met the President last were soon after replaced.

The Justice minister said it was now hard for Kenyans to decide who to believe among the two principals, given that the said consultations normally take place at the exclusion of anybody else.

He said: "Who can legitimately talk of consulting when they meet as they do on their own? This is political comedy, sadly, for the rest of Kenya."

The minister said a demand for a withdrawal of the names was wrong, arguing the two principals had ignored his advice to advertise and go for transparent sourcing.

Judicial renewal

"They must now face the music in Parliament and risk damaging the judicial renewal even before it begins," Mutula said.

"Nobody should expect me to support an illegality because I must side with some people," said Mutula.

On his part, Imanyara said he was in possession of a list that the President gave the PM when the issue first cropped up. According to Imanyara, the list that the PM was shown at Harambee House shortly before he left for Ethiopia for the AU meeting was changed.

He said the initial list had Justice Kariuki Kihara as Chief Justice, Lawyer Fred Ojiambo for Attorney General and Kioko Kilukumi for the position of DPP.

"There was no agreement reached then and the PM requested the matter be left pending until he returns only to be informed the President was set to announce the names, which had been substituted," he said.

Imanyara said he was confident the House Speaker would not clear the names for debate in Parliament.

Set Parameters

"This is a weighty issue and if the PM goes ahead to notify the Speaker in writing that he was not consulted, the Speaker will not clear the Motion," cautioned Imanyara.

He said even if the names were to be presented, MPs will reject them on the basis that those nominated have issues related to their past conduct, which will not meet the set parameters of the Constitution.

Assistant Minister Langat Magerer criticised the nomination terming it an act of impunity and an attitude of bullies’ while his colleague Adan Duale welcomed the proposed names saying those with President Kibaki were enough to approve them.

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