Members of the National Assembly have disagreed over a recommendation by a parliamentary committee to have the commissioners of the electoral agency vacate office.
Speaker Justin Muturi is expected on the matter next week.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), in its report of a special audit into the accounts of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) by the Auditor General Edward Ouko, has indicted the commissioners for the loss of at least Sh9 billion. The money was used in the 2017 General Election. The PAC wants the IEBC team to vacate office immediately after the adoption of the report.
The report also recommended the commissioners be investigated for the loss of the money during the August 8, 2017 General Election and the fresh presidential election of October 26, 2017 and that those found culpable, be prosecuted accordingly.
However, when the report came up for debate yesterday, the leader of majority Aden Duale opposed the recommendations, saying they are unconstitutional and prompting Mr Muturi to promise to issue a ruling.
âThe findings of the committee will not only offend the constitution if adopted, but lead to undesired results. It is on this basis that I invite you to find that the report and the findings of the committee in particular, are inadmissible as they are contrary to the constitution. This House shall not be used to violate a constitution that we swore to defend and preserve,â Mr Duale said.
The report wants IEBC commissioners Wafula Chebukati (chairman), members Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye to vacate office upon its adoption by the House to pave the way for âa more vibrant commissionâ.
It also wants former commissioners Consolata Nkatha (vice chairperson) and members Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat to be investigated for influencing contracts among them procurement of the Sh6.8 billion Kenya Integrated Electoral Management Systems (KIEMS) kits.
It also wants members of the secretariat led by sacked Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba investigated and, if found culpable, prosecuted.
According to Mr Duale, article 251 of the Constitution provides grounds for removal from office of members of constitutional commissions and independent offices.
They are gross violation of the Constitution, gross misconduct, mental incapacity, incompetence and bankruptcy.
But PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) and MPs Dr Otiende Amollo (Rarieda), Junet Mohamed (Suna East), disagreed with Mr Duale, saying the committeeâs recommendations did not mean to remove the commissioners but initiate the process.
âThe committee is fully aware of the provisions of article 251 of the Constitution and it did not present a petition in form of the report. The application by Mr Duale is not only frivolous but blatant waste of the time of this House,â Mr Wandayi said.
Dr Amollo, a member of PAC, was of the view that if the House does not abide by the committeeâs recommendations, it will be akin to stifling its constitutional mandate on a matter of great concern to Kenyans.