As the National Dialogue Committee resumes sittings today, the public will get an opportunity to state their agenda and what they feel is a solution to the country’s many ills.
Already, civil rights groups have written memorandums to the committee on matters to do with police excesses and what they feel should be done.
The public also awaits the decision on creation of new counties. Last week, 26 MPs vowed to have the matter included in the talks although opinion is split on the procedure of creating new electoral units.
Public participation on the five thematic areas that form the agenda of the talks started a week ago where people were given an opportunity to submit memoranda to the bipartisan technical committee.
Unlike previous public participation where petitions were tabled orally, the technical team called for written submissions.
The tradition has been that petitioners write submissions to the relevant team and wait for a day to be set to appear in person to defend their submissions publicly.
In a Gazette Notice dated September 1, the technical team stated, "Submissions of oral representations at the public hearings to be held at a date to be communicated by the National Dialogue Committee."
But for the National Dialogue Committee, in an exercise that concluded on Friday, the team dealt with the submissions sent either through email or delivered to its secretariat at Bomas of Kenya.
The petitioners will not be required to publicly defend their submissions. A technical team led by former Ndaragua MP Jeremiah Kioni and lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu will distil the memorandums and give a report to the dialogue team that is co-chaired by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichungwah.
The decision to omit the oral submissions was arrived at owing to a tight deadline that was set by Parliament, The Standard has learned.
"With a timeline of 60 days that was given by Parliament, it is not practical to have the normal sittings. We will not manage to complete with the said deadline," a source within the Dialogue team told The Standard on Sunday.
However, co-chair Kalonzo had reaffirmed earlier that all memoranda submitted before the talks team will be considered by the team
"People are saying this is a constitutional moment and therefore we will not shy away from receiving any memorandum only that they will have to be interrogated," said Kalonzo before the break.
The Standard has learnt that some of the entities that submitted memoranda are Amnesty International which wrote to the committee asking it to focus on the issue of police using lethal force during protests, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other unlawful practices.
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Amnesty International, along with other human rights lobby groups, last week submitted memoranda to the committee, outlining five pressing issues; extrajudicial executions, unlawful use of deadly force, right to assembly and protest, forced disappearances and the Prevention of Torture Act.
These concerns are expected to be tabled for discussion during the Azimio-Kenya Kwanza peace talks.
Irungu Houghton, the director of Amnesty International Kenya chapter, emphasised the need for the committee to prioritise independent investigations into extrajudicial executions and the significant delays in achieving justice for those seeking police accountability.
The human rights group wants the Inspector General of Police to offer a public apology to families and victims of police excesses during the March and August protests and provide a status update on the progress of investigations and prosecution of police officers and their commanders linked to excessive use of force.
Amnesty International also called upon the National Assembly to expedite the implementation of the Prevention of Torture Act and the National Coroners Service Act, both of which were enacted and signed into law in 2017.
The Electoral Law and Governance Institute for Africa presented a memorandum physically at Bomas on outstanding constitutional matters and electoral justice.