WHO WILL UNLOCK THIS CONSTITUTIONAL IMPASSE? By Mungai.

According to Sunday Nation’s Political columnist, Mutahi Ngunyi, while commenting about the controversial debate of “Ringera’s reappointment”. He wrote that we are not in a constitutional moment; an opportunity for constitutional innovation.

The constitutional moment is not about the Executive and parliament only. It involves the public as well. And the “moment” happens if the public loses faith in it’s leaders.

He further wrote that, what he sees in the “Ringera Saga” is political innovation. Like in power sharing, we have become “Makers of things”. We are making politics building democracy projects. The fight between the executive and parliament must be celebrated. But as we do so, we must remember that the Ringera reading “Ruling” is nothing. In law, the president is not bound to fire Mr. Ringera, he concludes.

And, to most political pundits the controversial Ringera debate is nothing but a supremacy battle pitting the two arms of the government, and it’s a mere political Shenanigan, a non issue been blown out of proportion which could not have occurred in the first place. Currently the country is experiencing more pressing issues bigger than the “Ringera Saga” that are begging to be addressed and accorded the first priorities.

The current famine and drought that’s ravaging the country, water and power rationings, insecurity and conservation of our environment are some of the touchy issues that should be addressed. It’s a pity watching on T.V hopeless and desperate starving Kenyans and littered carcasses of dead cows which have been ravaged by the current drought occasioned by dry spells, yet our leaders are busy with other shenanigans.

With that stroke of pen, when he wrote the gazette notice to reappoint Justice Ringera, the president didn’t know he could step on a live wire or ignite a bushfire considering the hullaboos and ramifications it has generated.

The parliament has went a step ahead and asserted it’s authority when it revoked and nullified the gazette notice by saying that the whole process was unprocedural and the president didn’t follow the law. Much is at stake considering the intense heat it has generated and seems as if this debate will not die away soon rather than later.

The hot issue that has been the subject of contenticity, which is producing babbling hot fumes is the reappointment of Justice Ringera and two of his assistants back for another term at Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission. After what transpired in parliament, one assistant Prof. Smokin Wanjala has called it quits, while Ringera and Fatuma Sichale had vowed to stay put on.

This move has generated a lot of brouhaha with Different interpretations of the Law. According to critics arguments the President didn’t follow the law and he acted contrary in total disregard of the law because as per their arguments the president ought to have consulted the K.A.C.C advisory board and parliament. To proponents arguments acted within the law for he can re appoint the commission’s members for a second term.

But with this tip of an iceberg, the million dollar question still stands unresolved, whether the President was right when he reappointed Ringera back to the office? Was he acting within his jurisdiction in confinement with the law? Or, is it that there was loophole in the law that he used to sidestep the parliament and advisory board?

The answers to this question should be best left to the arm of the Government that interprets laws, The Judiciary. And, due to complexity and weighty of the matter, coupled by the divergent interpretations, plus the public opinion courts verdict, the Judiciary would be up to the challenge and task. They are better placed to resolve this dispute, for they have been mandated by the constitution to interpret the Laws, although parliament has overstepped its mandate.

K.A.C.C is a commission that was established by act of parliament. It’s operation are well outlined by the law that governs it, although it has been cited as a bit contradictory.

But, why did the parliament legislate laws which are a bit contradictory, full of loopholes and of which aren’t clear? Parliament takes that share of blame.

But who will unlock this constitutional impasse?


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