By LUKE ANAMI
A showdown is looming between the private sector and political parties over nomination of members to East African Legislative Assembly.
While political parties with the majority MPs in Parliament nominate the highest number of MPs to Eala, the private sector wants this system abolished, saying it does not meet the requirements of the East African Community (EAC) Treaty.
"The treaty is clear that the people elected should reflect all shades of life. Unfortunately, it has been hijacked by political parties," Patrick Obath, Chairman Kenya Private Sector Association ( Kepsa) said in an interview with The Standard On Sunday after a breakfast meeting last week between top CEOs and the EAC Secretary General Richard Sezibera in a Nairobi hotel.
Article 50 of the EAC Treaty provides guidelines on the election of Eala MPs that "the National Assembly of each partner state shall elect, not from among its members, nine members of the Assembly. These members shall represent as much as it is feasible, the various political parties represented in the National Assembly.
It shall also present shades of opinion, gender and other special interest groups in that partner state, in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each partner state may determine. On the basis of this article, the business communities argue that the rules governing the elections should be brought into conformity with the said section of the EAC Treaty.
The East African Business Council, which is the regional umbrella body of business community in the EAC, has written to Speaker Kenneth Marende asking for a change in the rules of the nomination.
"As members of the business community, we want this mode of elections changed to reflect what is in the EAC Treaty," Mr Obath, who is the also the Vice Chairman of East African Business Council said.
But in the past, Kenyaâs Parliament has simply received a list from the parties in Parliament and rubberstamped the names, a move the business community are now against.
The move by the private sector comes at a time when the term of the current 52-member Eala Parliament ends on June 4. The House is expected to elect new members to replace, or retain current Speaker of the Regional Assembly is Abdirahin Abdi while Catherine Kimura, Christopher Nakuleu, Gervase Akhaabi, Clarkson Karan, Sarah Bonaya, and Rueben Oyondi are members.