The rift within the coalition government over President Kibaki’s choice of top Judiciary officials is set to move to Parliament.
This is after a section of PNU allied legislators vowed to use their numerical strength in the House to push through the nominees.
As the 16 MPs were gearing for the battle in Parliament, their ODM counterparts urged National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende to reject the list of nominees unless Prime Minister Raila Odinga was consulted.
The PNU legislators, who claimed to have 160 MPs on their side, even warned of moving a censure motion against Mr Odinga if he continued to “block reforms”.
They are banking on the political camaraderie among PNU MPs allied to Eldoret North MP William Ruto and those from ODM Kenya.
Those who attended Sunday’s press conference at Panafric Hotel in Nairobi included Public Health Minister Beth Mugo, MPs Julius Kones, Benjamin Langat and acting PNU chief whip Johnstone Muthama.
“The statement by the PM and some of his supporters alleging that the President did not consult him in the appointment of the CJ, AG, DPP and the Controller of Budget are totally misleading,” Mathira MP Ephraim Maina said in a statement.
Mrs Mugo said it was the President who had the mandate from the people and MPs would use the floor of the House to support his nominees.
Medical Services assistant minister Kazungu Kambi hinted they were considering moving a motion of no confidence in the PM.
The current storm was triggered by Friday’s decision by President Kibaki to nominate Appellate Judge Alnashir Visram as Chief Justice, lawyer Githui Muigai as Attorney-General, lawyer Kioko Kilukumi as Director of Public Prosecutions and Mr William Kirwa as Controller of Budget. (Read: Kibaki’s judiciary nominees spark new round of coalition clashes)
However, Mr Odinga was supported in his stance by Deputy PM Musalia Mudavadi, MPs Martha Karua, Gitobu Imanyara, John Mbadi and John Pesa, who described the nominations as unconstitutional.
Mr Imanyara said he would vote against the motion. “By law, the motion cannot even come to the House. As long as the Prime Minister informs the Speaker formally that there was no compliance with the Constitution, numbers won’t matter,” he said.
Additional reports by Benson Amadala, Ashley Lime and Maurice Kaluoch