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PAC OVERSTEPPED MANDATE

Speaker Muturi saves jobs of IEBC chiefs

Says holders of constitutional offices can only be removed through a petition

In Summary

•Speaker rules certain recommendations of PAC report unconstitutional

•Directs PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi to remove offensive parts before tabling again

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi in Parliament
SOLOMONIC: National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi in Parliament
Image: FILE

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi yesterday ruled that a Public Accounts Committee recommendation offends the Constitution, clarifying that holders of constitutional offices can only be removed from office through a petition.

PAC had, in a report, proposed that IEBC commissioners and senior directors vacate office upon adoption of the report which implicated top officials in the Sh9 billion procurement mess at the commission in the run-up to 2017 elections.

Muturi said the oversight committee acted outside its mandate and breached provisions of Articles 47 or 251 of the Constitution and section 10 of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act.

“The observations and findings of the committee with respect to the staff of the commission having been found to be offensive to the Constitution and therefore inadmissible for debate by the House are forthwith expunged from the report,” Muturi ruled.


He directed PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi to amend the report before moving it in the House.

Majority leader Aden Duale had, on a point of order last week,  sought direction from the Speaker on the admissibility of the recommendation of the report which he said was unconstitutional.

This House must act constitutionally. Nobody here is saying that the commissioners have not committed any crime. Were we to adopt this report, who was going to enforce it? We are avoiding a situation where the House acts in vain
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi

“This House must act constitutionally. Nobody here is saying that the commissioners have not committed any crime. Were we to adopt this report, who was going to enforce it? We are avoiding a situation where the House acts in vain.”

He directed PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi to amend the report before moving it in the House.

Majority leader Aden Duale had, on a point of order last week,  sought direction from the Speaker on the admissibility of the recommendation of the report which he said was unconstitutional.

Duale argued that the particular section of the report flouts the provisions of the Constitution on removal of a member of a constitutional commission.

In his ruling, Muturi said the rest of the report will proceed to the House for consideration upon rescheduling by the House Business Committee.

“May I clarify that expunging the offensive parts of the report is not to mean that the entire report is discredited,” he said.

This was however protested by John Mbadi (Minority Leader) and Junet Mohamed (Minority Whip) who demanded a total withdrawal of the report to have it reworked in conformity with the Speaker’s direction.

“If it (report) was a human being I would say the heart and liver has been removed. It has just remained a skeleton. It is not going to be of value for this House to debate this report because it is mutilated,” Mbadi said.

Junet said subjecting the "mutilated" report to debate will be like "debating a dead report"

Marakwet East MP Kangongo Bowen lauded the Muturi’s ruling, saying it will "go a long way in taming committees which have become mischievous with their recommendations".

Contributing on the same, Kikuyu lawmaker Kimani Ichung’wah faulted PAC for overstepping their mandate claiming ODM party was hiding behind the Opposition-led committee to settle political scores with the electoral chiefs.

“It is not lost to me that ODM was trying to use their chair to advance a political agenda,” Ichung’wah said.