alexa Talks begin on picking new laws team - Daily Nation

Talks begin on picking new laws team

Monday August 9 2010

File | NATION Parliament Buildings.

File | NATION Parliament Buildings.  

By NJERI RUGENE [email protected] and ALPHONCE SHIUNDU [email protected]

The House Business Committee meets on Tuesday to begin discussions on setting up a team to spearhead the implementation of the new Constitution.

In an interview with the Daily Nation at his office, House Speaker Kenneth Marende said the team will have a maximum of 15 members, in adherence to the spirit of the new Constitution.

“The spirit is to have leaner teams like it is in all the commissions. Kenyans don’t want bloated teams,” said Mr Marende, who chairs the HBC.

The Speaker, together with the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Patrick Gichohi, held a lengthy meeting to review the House calendar and the schedule of implementing the laws.

He said the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee will be constituted within a “reasonable time” and that, to him, should be within 30 days.

“Obviously, we cannot come up with the names, but that’s on the agenda for MPs to think about. They have to determine the strength of that committee,” he said in reference to Tuesday’s meeting.

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As part of the preparations for the task ahead, Parliament has set up a secretariat headed by the clerk, with the Head of Legal Department, Mr Jeremiah Nyegenye, as the secretary.

“They (the secretariat) will sensitise us on deadlines that are provided for different actions on the Constitution,” said Mr Marende.

He said the House had also started a programme to expose staff to different Parliaments with a bicameral structure, akin to the one provided for in the new Constitution.

Lobbying was in top gear on Monday, with MPs jostling to have a slot in the team ahead of Parliament’s reopening on Tuesday after a two-week break.

The oversight committee will lead the way not only in setting up the legal framework of implementing the new Constitution, but will also work with the attorney-general to ensure the laws sail through Parliament.

The House team is expected to work with a nine-member Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, which will be the driver of the implementation – just like the Committee of Experts was in writing the new Constitution.

Mr Jakoyo Midiwo, the joint government whip, said the HBC will agree on the number of members, its composition and criteria.

He was categorical that Parliament would go for MPs with integrity and “those who are known to be pro-reform”.