Miller out as House team seeks new applicants

Published on

By Isaac Ongiri

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Review has dropped lawyer Cecil Miller as a possible chairman of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission.

Cecil Miller: Dropped as a possible chairman of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission.

The PSC chaired by Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohammed announced it would re-advertise the post. PSC also disqualified two other nominees Suleiman Yesse Buko from Coast and Charles Masinde from Western Province.

“We have dropped Mr Miller and the other commissioners so we can move forward. We are going to re-advertise the position of chairman,” said Mohamed.

Various allegations levelled against certain nominees for IIEC jobs were discussed, forcing the committee to agree on the amendment of the list. Parliament rejected the nominations, last week.

Matters touching on domestic violence, conflict of interests, debts, and corruption-related issues involving certain nominees were also tabled.

PNU’s attempts to stick with Miller failed.

“We shall insist the country gets a united commission. We have consensus,” Mohammed said.

The Standard learnt there were attempts by some PSC members to introduce a former Head of Civil Service as possible chair, on grounds of achieving neutrality and compromise.

“We discussed the idea of inviting Dr Richard Leakey before we attended the meeting yesterday, but our ODM colleagues were not keen ,” one insider revealed.

The proposal to have former executive director of Institute for Education in Democracy did not impress the PNU side. Former National Assembly Speaker Francis ole Kaparo, former Kenya National Commission on Human Rights chairman Maina Kiai, former lawyer Alice Yano, Mr Fackson Kagwe and Maina Wachira were among those shortlisted for the chair.

The committee settled on Mr Douglas J Mwashigadi from Taveta District as the Coast nominee after PSC members re-evaluated the interview results.

Members also endorsed former ambassador to the US, Yusuf Nzibo (Nairobi), Tiya Galgalo (Eastern), Hamara Ibrahim Adan (North Eastern), Winfred W Guchu (Central Province), Davis Chirchir (Rift Valley) and lawyer Kenneth Nyaundi (Nyanza) as commissioners.

Difference emerged on the nomination of the commissioner for Western Province after among PSC members from the province.

Outside bungoma

Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba were keen on a commissioner outside Bungoma District.

The Standard learnt the two informed the PSC the larger Bungoma District has a person from the area in the committee of experts on constitutional review.

Musalia and Namwamba insisted any appointment of another person from Bungoma would not be fair.

It was then agreed the particulars of six other shortlisted candidates from Western, Anthony S Muchanga, Wangalwa Kizito, William Ikapel, former MP John Munyasia, Dr Francis Ingaji and Dan Ameyo, be re-examined.

PSC representatives from Nyanza agreed on the region’s nominee. But attempts by some Rift Valley representatives to reject Chirchir were humbled.

“He is qualified and those who did not want him did not give sufficient reasons,” said an MP.

Mr Nyaundi’s qualifications for the job had been questioned on the grounds he was a public officer by virtue of being the chairman of the complaints commission at the Media Council and a member of the tribunal to review the terms and conditions of service of members and employees of the National Assembly.

The National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende revoked Nyaundi’s appointment as a member of the tribunal on Monday. It was not clear whether he had resigned from the Media Council.

Acceptable chairman

Addressing the Press after the meeting, Namwamba said the committee would come up with an acceptable chairman. But he explained the committee had not decided on whether to invite international applicants as Prime Minister Raila Odinga suggested.

“We know this matter is of great national concern, and that there are suspicions. But we promise a solution would be found,” the Budalang’i MP said. The new list will be tabled in Parliament at the next session for debate, before it is forwarded to President Kibaki and the Prime Minister for endorsement.

At the same time President Kibaki on Monday gazetted the appointments of nine members of the committee of experts on constitutional review.

The nine are Prof Christina Murray, Dr Chaloka Beyani, and Prof Fredrick Ssempebwa who are expatriates.

Local experts include Dr Ekur Aukot, Njoki Ndung’u, Atsango Chesoni, Otiende Amolo, Nzamba Kitonga, Abdirahid Abdullahi and Bobby Mukangi.

It is expected the team would hold its first meeting next week before electing its chairman and secretary.

|   |    |    Comment (1) |   Add Comment

Today’s magazine

    Sunday Magazine
A will to live: Lorna’s kidney odyssey

The name Lorna Irungu rekindles memories of the 1990s TV game show Omo Pick a Box, the Vijana Tugutuke voting campaign and an upbeat, energetic and feisty young woman who is always ready to use her talents to champion a cause. But Lorna’s life is not all fun and games. The 35-year-old has had more than her fair share of pain and suffering. She has battled lupus and kidney failure for more than 10 years, and her most recent ordeal has left her asking what God really wants of her. Having already undergone two kidney transplant operations, Lorna never imagined she would need a third.