Kenya's speaker of parliament is
expected to rule Thursday on the re-appointment of an embattled former finance
minister into the cabinet of the unity government. President Mwai Kibaki
appointed Amos Kimunya as a cabinet minister despite a The
former finance minister was alleged to have been complicit in graft over the
controversial sale of the Regency Hotel to Libyan
businessmen. A Parliamentary Committee on Finance investigated the hotel and
ruled that Kimunya was unfit to be a Cabinet minister and advised President
Kibaki not to reappoint him. Kenyan lawmaker Gitobu Imanyara told reporter
Peter Clottey that Kimunya's reappointment is a slap in the face of all
is true that as a result of issues raised by members of parliament regarding
Amos Kimunya's reappointment to cabinet, the speaker would be making a
communication from the chair which is called a ruling on whether that
appointment contravenes the principles of the separation of powers. And number
two the president is in contempt of parliament because it is parliament that
passed a resolution of no confidence in Kimunya before he was relieved of his
ministerial position. And thereafter parliament appointed a finance committee
to investigate the circumstances under which the Grand Regency hotel was sold
to the Libyans," Imanyara noted.
said the outcome of the parliamentary committee's investigation into the
controversial sale of the hotel didn't absolve the former finance minister of
report of that committee haven't been tabled before the house has not been
debated and yet the president who is also a member of parliament proceeded to
act in contempt or in anticipation of the result of the vote of the members of
parliament by returning Kimunya to parliament," he said.
agrees with the assertion that President Kibaki's appointment of the embattled
former minister is distasteful.
"I'm with that group of
Kenyans that sees this in that light. I think it is not just a slap in the face
of parliament, but it is also contempt of the people of Kenya for two reasons.
One, the president himself is a member of parliament and is therefore bound by
the resolutions of the house and he ignored and proceeds to name the disgraced
minister to his cabinet. Don't forget that the president himself through an
executive order appointed a former chief justice to investigate the same issue
that the parliamentary committee had investigated," Imanyara pointed out.
He said the president's
appointed commission of inquiry to look into the controversial sale of the
hotel blamed the former finance minister for the way the sale was carried out.
"That commission presented
the report to the president and the president has not made that report public.
He had not told the Kenyan people the commission had cleared Kimunya. But we
know it did not clear him because the leaked copies clearly show that the
judges who conducted that inquiry held Kimunya responsible for misleading or
lying to parliament," he said.
Imanyara said the
constitutional implications of the president's action would have far reaching consequences.
it has far reaching implications because in our system of government we have
incorporated the concept of the separation of powers just like from the
American perspective. And when parliament takes one decision as the legislative
arm of government, it is independent of the executive. Therefore for the
president to ignore one arm of the government is triggering a very deep
constitutional crisis, unprecedented in nature and this is what we are saying
is unacceptable at a time when we are trying to re-write the Kenyan
constitution to end the culture of impunity," Imanyara pointed out.
Some lawmakers petitioned
Speaker Kenneth Marende to rule on Kimunya's reappointment, even after a vote
of no confidence was passed against him over the controversial sale of the
Regency Hotel to Libyan businessmen, which was alleged to have been a corrupt
They contended that no
independent institution or commission has cleared Kimunya from the grounds that
culminated in his removal. Speaker Marende called for a sober reflection and
described the reappointment of Kimunya and the surrounding circumstances as
Kenyans have been wondering what the constitutional implications would be
following Kibaki's reappointment of Kimunya, especially after law makers passed
a vote of no confidence in the former finance minister.
a parliamentary deliberation yesterday (Wednesday), Imanyara
preyed the Speaker to give the way forward as Kimunya had not been cleared over
his involvement in the controversial sale of the Grand Regency.
Cockar Commission of inquiry, which investigated the hotel sale is said to have
absolved Kimunya of any wrongdoing. The commission however ruled that the
Regency hotel had been undervalued and that the Treasury should have done more
to advise the Central Bank over the deal.