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December 18, 2017

MPs extend calendar by one week to vet EALA nominees

" By the time they adjourn next week, members of the National Assembly will have attended House sessions for only 20 days since the inception of first session of the 12th Parliament." /FILE
" By the time they adjourn next week, members of the National Assembly will have attended House sessions for only 20 days since the inception of first session of the 12th Parliament." /FILE

MPs have extended sittings by one week to conclude vetting of EALA nominees.

Parliament passed a motion by Deputy Majority Chief Whip Cecily Mbarire to alter the House calendar and push adjournment from Thursday to December 14.

Mbarire said the seven-day extension would help them conclude the election of nine representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly as well as constitute Parliamentary Committees.

MPs will resume sittings in February in time to vet CS and PS nominees to President Uhuru Kenyatta's cabinet.

More on this: MPs gobble up Sh650m in pay after working 13 days

Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki said lawmakers will be recalled for a special sitting to iron out the matter and ensure the President has a strong team to help him develop the nation during his second and final term.

 “If the President finds it needful to have his CSs and PSs vetted during the recess, Parliament will be recalled through the right procedure. I don’t rule out the possibility of special sittings because the country cannot wait until February for this crucial process to commence,” Kindiki said.

 He said National Assembly and Senate top leaders will consult with the Judiciary and Executive on the process of appointing CSs and PSs. 

“Vetting of such senior officials is a long process because of the dictates of the constitution. We will consult with the Executive and Judiciary so as to support this constitutional duty,” he said.   

Uhuru is expected to make key changes in his Cabinet by appointing 22 secretaries and naming fresh PSs.

rticle 152 (2) and (3) states: “The President shall nominate and, with the approval of the National Assembly, appoint Cabinet Secretaries. A cabinet Secretary shall not be a Member of Parliament”.

 Joint Parliamentary Select Committee co-chair Katoo ole Metito says members of EALA are concerned that Kenya is the only member state that has not submitted its list of members to EALA. 

“I request the House and political parties to note the key timelines of the election process and support the Joint Committee in steering the election of Kenya’s representatives to EALA to its logical conclusion,” Metito said.

 By the time they adjourn next week, members of the National Assembly will have attended House sessions for only 20 days since the inception of first session of the 12th Parliament. 

The MPs have earned salaries adding up to Sh650.4 million in the last three months.

The 349 legislators have each been earning Sh621,250 from September to November but have adjourned House business four times within the period. For the three months, each MP has earned a total of Sh1.8 million.

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