MPs to debate Bill on zones - Daily Nation

MPs to debate Bill on zones

Monday December 13 2010

PHOEBE OKALL | NATION Justice and Legal Affairs committee chairman Ababu Namwamba addresses the press during a retreat to discuss the boundaries report at the Windsor Hotel in Nairobi on Monday. He is flanked by member Sophia Abdi Noor.

PHOEBE OKALL | NATION Justice and Legal Affairs committee chairman Ababu Namwamba addresses the press during a retreat to discuss the boundaries report at the Windsor Hotel in Nairobi on Monday. He is flanked by member Sophia Abdi Noor. 

By SAMWEL KUMBA [email protected] and ZAMZAM TATU [email protected]

A Bill to create the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is ready and will be tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.

The formation of the commission will help unlock the stalemate on the implementation of the new Constitution, Parliament’s Justice and Legal Affair committee chairman Ababu Namwamba said on Monday.

Last month, MPs blocked the approval of nominees to the Revenue Allocation and Constitution Implementation commissions until the controversy over the 80 new constituencies created by the defunct Andrew Ligale committee was addressed.

The two commissions ought to have been in place by November 27.

Mr Namwamba told the Nation on the sidelines of a meeting by his team that the boundaries impasse, though politically motivated, had to be resolved first to pave way for the Constitution implementation.

He said: “This retreat seeks to unlock the deadlock caused by the boundaries report, which adversely affects the implementation of the new constitutional dispensation which has now been tied to the boundaries issue. By tomorrow our report will be ready for presentation.”

The House committee members are on a two-day retreat at Nairobi’s Windsor Hotel to write the final report that will be tabled in Parliament regarding the Ligale-led boundaries commission. The retreat ends Tuesday.

“We are making excellent progress,” Mr Namwamba said.

The retreat is intended to reach a deal on the boundaries deadlock before Parliament goes on recess on December 16. Although the two issues — boundaries and Constitution implementation — are not really related, Mr Namwamba reiterated it was about politics and had to be handled as such.

The Ligale list of constituencies raised uproar when it was made public. The team was accused of bias in allocating the new electoral units.

The fact that there seemed to be no coherence in the team, given the members were split on the issue, did not help matters.

Failure by Parliament to approve the nominees meant the government had to miss the deadline for gazetting the names, throwing the implementation of the new laws into disarray.

MPs then said they would not approve the nominees to the two commissions until an agreement was reached on the boundaries.

Mr Namwamba said his team was studying the boundaries report and would draft proposals to present to Parliament.

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