alexa MPs lobby discounts anti-ICC bills - Daily Nation

MPs lobby discounts anti-ICC bills

Monday January 17 2011

Garsen MP Danson Mungatana (Narc Kenya), chairman of the Parliamentary Caucus on Reforms. Photo/WILLIAM OERI

Garsen MP Danson Mungatana (Narc Kenya), chairman of the Parliamentary Caucus on Reforms. Photo/WILLIAM OERI 

By OLIVER MATHENGE ([email protected])

A group of MPs on Monday appeared to throw cold water on plans to introduce a bill on Kenya’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.

The Parliamentary Caucus on Reforms urged MPs to prioritise bills that will fast-track the implementation of the Constitution. They urged their colleagues to avoid politicking as Parliament reconvenes Tuesday afternoon and instead focus on development and the problems facing the public.

They termed “retrogressive” plans to introduce motions that were guided by “political interests” instead of focusing on issues that will help the country ensure the full and successful implementation of the Constitution.

“We must be careful not to bring before the house motions that seek to dismantle laws that have come a long way in fighting impunity in the country,” said Rangwe MP Martin Ogindo (Orange Democratic Movement).

The group’s chairman and Garsen MP Danson Mungatana (Narc Kenya) warned that the implementation of the Constitution was likely to be derailed if Parliament focuses on politics.

“What we are saying is that they are issues that can wait and priority should be given to the implementation of the Constitution and dealing with issues such as drought and the problems facing our education sector,” said Mr Mungatana.

He added that politicians should be patient for the next 18 months after which they can “settle the political scores” they want to with their rivals.

Withdraw

A group of MPs led by Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto are preparing to bring to Parliament a bill seeking to withdraw Kenya from the ICC.

Before taking a break, legislators voted in favour of a motion on the same as The Hague seeks to open prosecutions on six Kenyans including three senior politicians.

The withdrawal will however not halt the ICC case as Kenya must meet all its obligations that arose while it was party to the Rome Statutes.

MPs troop back to Parliament on Tuesday, two months early as the country enters a crucial stage of implementing the Constitution.

Some 34 new laws have to be passed before the 2012 elections with 16 of the laws supposed to be enacted by August 27, this year. Twelve of these laws relate to the setting up of the County government structures, their relationship with the national government and their financing.

Other urgent laws are those relating to the Judiciary, National Security, the Electoral System and Representation, the Legislature (National Assembly and Senate) and Leadership and Integrity sections of the Constitution.

Top on the order paper as Parliament resumes business is the second reading of the Judicial Service Bill which will guide the operations of the Judicial Service Commission which took oath of office last week.

Also on the agenda is a report by the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security on its fact findings following a visit to Lari, Koibatek, Dagoreti, Kisauni and Nyakach over alleged extra judicial killings.

The committee is seeking the adoption of the report which was tabled on December 16, last year.