CIC Chairman Charles Nyachae writes to Uhuru over JSC and parliament
| Nov 9th 2013 | 3 min read
|CIC chairman Charles Nyachae PHOTO: COURTESY|
By Philip Mwakio
The Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) has written to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the chairman of the National Assembly's Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee over concerns on emerging conflicts between the judiciary and parliament.
In the letter to the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee chairperson, Mr Njoroge Baiya , dated November 8, a copy of which Standard on Sunday has seen, CIC chairman Charles Nyachae said that they are concerned about the raging conflicts between the judiciary and parliament and their possible impact on the rule of law and the implementation of the constitution.
CIC has also indicated that in view of the gravity of the matter, they have separately written to the Head of State to convene an urgent meeting will all the heads of the concerned institutions and any other interested parties , the President may deem necessary to discuss possible solutions to the emerging crisis.
‘’ The most recent expression of this conflict occurred when the National Assembly Committee of Justice and Legal Affairs summoned members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to respond to issues raised over the sacking of the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Gladys Boss Shollei ," Nyachae said in the letter.
He said in the letter that members of JSC refused to honour the said summons , quoting inter alia ,the independence of the judiciary and of the commission.
‘’ We believe that the actions by the JSC members compromised Parliament’s mandate to exercise oversight over State organs as provided in Article 95(5)b and that the members in any event acted contrary to the express provision of the article 125 of the Constitution , which allows Parliament and any of its committee to summon any person to provide information,’’ Nyachae said.
The CIC boss explained that the intensity of the conflict has now increased with the recent ruling by the speaker of the National Assembly,Justin Muturi in which he ruled that the National Assembly is not subject to any orders from the Judiciary in respect of its proceedings.
"In our own view, this position runs counter to the Constitutional granted to the Judiciary under article 159 to do justice to all irrespective of status and in particular the jurisdiction of the High court to hear and make determination on any question as to whether anything said to be done under the Authority of the Constitution or any law is in conflict with or is contravention of the Constitution,’’ Nyachae added.
Nyachae said that remarks by the Speaker in one of his meetings with members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance on November 7th that the decision of the Supreme Court on division of revenue Bill has no relevance and that whatever the court said is its own position and does not affect the decision of the Assembly is of even greater concern.
"Our concern is that the continued rejection of each other’s constitutional powers by the two critical arms of the government poses major challenges to the rule of law and will inevitably compromise the implementation of the constitution in which the two institutions are principal players," Nyachae further said .
He added, indeed if the two institutions reject each others jurisdiction, they will create an environment where other organs will reject oversight by the two authorities on similar grounds thus leading to possible anarchy.
"As the parliamentary committee mandated to look into ways of resolving impediments to implementation of the constitution, we would like to hold an urgent meeting with you to consider ways in which we can work together to mitigate the looming crisis, even as we await the actions of the Head of State," Nyachae told Baiya in the letter.
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