MPs to burn midnight oil in Maraga nomination debate

The National Assembly is today expected to hold a Special Sitting to consider the report of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on the suitability of Justice David Maraga as the next Chief Justice.

Majority Leader Aden Duale will move a Procedural Motion seeking the concurrence of MPs that they sit for a maximum of three hours from 6.45pm to consider the nomination.

Today is the last day with regard to the constitutional timelines for approval or rejection of the CJ nominee.

Last Thursday, Speaker Justin Muturi granted a request by Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga to extend by seven days the period by which Parliament is expected to have made a decision.

Duale said the extension from the 14 days allowed by law, would remove the perception that Parliament was a mere rubber-stamp, and allow time to whip members to make the required quorum on Tuesday.

Chepkonga is expected to table the committee report and recommendation in the afternoon sitting and give Notice of the Motion for approval.

However, as per the Standing Orders, one cannot give notice of a motion and debate it the same day.

Tuesday’s sitting will therefore end at 6.30pm as per the day’s order of business and a new session will start at6:45pm to allow debate on the report and voting.

If approved by Parliament, Maraga will be appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to take over from Willy Mutunga who retired as Chief Justice on June 16.

There has been no major opposition to Maraga’s nomination from either side of the political divide.

Maraga’s first task, as CJ will be to swear in the selection panel that is to recruit the new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioners (IEBC).

When he appeared before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, Justice Maraga said that he will ensure all Kenyans get equal justice regardless of their religion.

While he was being interviewed for the post by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) earlier, Maraga had stated that he would not work on a Saturday because of his religious beliefs.

The Appellate Judge also explained that his first priority when he commences his term, will be to eliminate backlog of cases within the Judiciary and streamline the sector by dispensing of cases, which are five years old, as fast as possible.

Justice Maraga outlined plans to put in place an ICT system to ensure that the court process is fast.


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