Jubilee is turning over some options concerning the persistent IEBC demos by opposition party, after three people were yesterday killed and more injured.
It is revealed that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration is currently ruminating on forming a joint parliamentary committee from the ruling government and partly from opposition ranks so as to handle the matter. But, for such a committee to be formed, the Senate and the National Assembly must pass two different resolutions.
This is just one of the ways Jubilee MPs and Senators proposed two weeks ago at a meeting with President Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, to handle the demonstrations. And though the option offers dialogue outside Parliament, it does not mean it is not legal since it will remain backed by Parliament.
Parliament’s Standing Order number 213 provides for the formation of joint committees with equal numbers of senators and MPs from both Houses. The second option which the party is thinking of exploring is to urgently amend the IEBC Act to either erase the requirement for a selection panel or make changes to the people and institutions that ought to name members of the panel.
As of yet, the IEBC Act provides that commissioners be appointed by a panel. The President will elect two people to the panel, and the Prime Minister (a now-defunct office) will also appoint two people while the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board names one.
The office of the Prime Minister and advisory board no longer exist, so there is need to change the law to either disband the panel and propose a new way out or amend the nominating bodies.
The Legal Affairs Committee, led by Samuel Chekpong’a, is a key force pushing for the initiative and has already asked the commissioners to take the door. The Chepkong’a team is also working on a package for the pressured commissioners.
The impending plan to resolve repeated IEBC demos is coming after the IEBC protest turned bloody yesterday as police clashed with protesters. A senator and MP were arrested. Two people died in Siaya in the demonstrations with another succumbed to bullet wounds in Kisumu – bringing the death toll to a total of three.
One of the men, who was confirmed not among the protesters, was shot as he headed to a bank located in the Tivoli Centre. He died shortly after being rushed to Aga Khan Hospital. Medical chief Sam Oula dismissed the report, stating that the man had no bullet wounds but sources within the facility confirmed there was a bullet wound.
Also, another man was shot in the head on Kenyatta Avenue, near the county headquarters during IEBC demos. He was taken to the Kisumu East District Hospital by the MPs, where three other men were receiving treatment for their bullet wounds; two having been shot in the head and one on the right foot. A mechanic was also shot and taken to Aga Khan Hospital.
Scores got severely injured in Homa Bay as police fought Cord supporters who tried to gain access into IEBC offices in those areas. Two women were last night reported to be in critical condition after they sustained bullet wounds during IEBC demos.
Also, in Kibera numerous people were injured when anti-riot squad engaged demonstrators in running battles. This is the fourth week of protests over the electoral commission and apparently the most fatal yet.
Last week, police were cautioned against brutality as officers were photographed and filmed assaulting demonstrators in the capital’s central business district in images published around the world.
The opposition Cord alliance are fighting to kick out IEBC commissioners ahead of next year’s presidential election. On the other hand, Jubilee MPs have filed contempt court proceedings against Cord leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Mosyoka and Moses Wetang’ula and Siaya Senator James Orengo.
The MPs accuse them of disobeying orders that had banned them from chaotic demonstrations. The MPs are Ferdinand Waititu (Kabete), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika Town) and Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South).
Several dignitaries have called on Cord to quit the protest including NGO council director, Stephen Cheboi, citing that continued planned protests may cause more harm that good in the country.