The National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) has announced a schedule for the hearing of petitions seeking the ouster of four commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
In a notice published in the dailies on Monday, November 21, the four commissioners; Juliana Cherera, Irene Masit, Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi will be grilled on Monday, November 28 and Tuesday 29.
“It is notified for the information of the general public that the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs shall commence hearings on the four (4) Petitions for the removal of Commissioners of the IEBC as from Thursday, 24th November, 2022 at the Mini Chamber, 1st Floor, County Hall, Parliament Buildings, Nairobi,” read a notice from Clerk of the National Assembly, Samuel Njoroge.
The four petitioners who will appear before the George Murugara-led committee are the Republican Liberty Party, Reverend Dennis Ndwiga Nthumbi, Geoffrey Langat and Owour Steve Gerry. They presented the petitions to the speaker of the national assembly Moses Wetangula.
On Thursday, November 24, the legislators will grill the Republican Liberty Party from 10.00am to 11.00am the Republican Liberty Party takes the hot seat from 11.30am to 12.30pm.
Rev. Dennis Ndwiga Nthumbi will appear before the lawmakers from 2pm to 3pm. On Friday, November 25, Geoffrey Langat will present his petition from 10.00am to 11.00am followed by a cross-examination session from 11.30am to 12.30pm.
Owuor Steve Gerry will present his petition at 2pm followed by a cross-examination at 3pm the same day.
According to the detailed schedule, Cherera and Masit will appear before the MPs on Monday, November 28 to respond to the petitions followed by cross-examination.
The other commissioners, Wanderi and Nyang’aya will face JLAC on Tuesday, November 29.
The hearings come after Wetangula tabled the four petitions before Parliament on November 15. The Speaker, then, directed the JLAC to evaluate the evidence and advise the house accordingly.
Murugara’s committee is expected to table its report on the floor of the house on the suitability of the petitions within 14 days.
The four were accused of gross misconduct during the management of the August polls, during which they denied final presidential results announced by IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati.
Apart from the petition to kick out the four IEBC commissioners, there are also other three petitions filed at the National Assembly for the removal of Chebukati, commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu.
The three petitions which were presented by Shem Otieno Dianga accuse the trio of violation of the Constitution, incompetence and gross misconduct.
Chebukati is set to leave IEBC in early 2023 when his tenure at the Anniversary Towers-based commission ends.
Prices of These Commodities Dropped in November
A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on the state of the consumer economy has revealed that the cost of living slightly eased in November.
KNBS, on Wednesday, November 30 placed the inflation rate at 9.5 per cent, a 0.1 per cent drop from the previous month of October.
Among the factors that contributed to the slight dip was the reduction in the cost of basic commodities. Cooking oil, recorded an average drop of Ksh21.93 per litre.
“During the same period, prices of cooking oil (salad), tomatoes and fortified maize flour dropped by 6.0, 2.2, and 1.0 per cent, respectively.
“The month-to-month Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Index increased by 0.6,” the statement read in part.
The cost of maize flour dropped by Ksh1.83 per two-kilogram packet while the same unit of tomatoes cost Ksh1.98 less.
Some of the non-food commodities whose prices dropped include the electricity bought on a small scale (Ksh46.48 per 50 kilowatts) and Ksh184.2 for 200 kilowatts.
The cost of fuel super petrol, diesel and kerosene also dropped by Ksh1.10, while a 13-kg cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas retailed by Ksh79 less. Commuters also paid less for their travel, according to the Bureau.
Kenyans coughed up more cash for rent, alcoholic beverages and fresh farm produce during the month under review. The consumer price index (CPI) increased from 127.86 to 128.31.
However, in comparison to the same period in 2021, the rate of inflation leapt by 3.7 points from 5.8 per cent.
“The rise in inflation was largely due to increase in prices of commodities under food and non-alcoholic beverages (15.4 per cent) transport (11.7 per cent) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (6.1 per cent),” KNBS disclosed
The Martyr? Preacher Jailed For 8,658 Years
A court has sentenced a televangelist, who surrounded himself with young women he referred to as his “kittens”, to 8,658 years in prison.
The court in Turkey sentenced Adnan Oktar, who has been described as a cult leader, and was convicted of sexual assault and abuse of minors.
Oktar, 66, fronted his own television channel, through which he delivered religious sermons.
He is a fierce opponent of the theory of evolution, and wrote a widely mocked book on creationism.
He was originally given a jail sentence of 1,075 years but an appeal court ordered a retrial involving 215 defendants.
Ten of them were also given 8,658 years in prison by the court in Istanbul. Many of the other defendants were given shorter terms.
Oktar and hundreds of his followers were arrested in 2018 from his home on a litany of charges, including running a criminal organisation, tax offences, sexual abuse, and counter-terrorism laws.
During his arrest, Oktar told journalists that the allegations made against him were “lies” and “a game by the British deep state”, a topic he had frequently spoken about in the past.
In January 2021 he was convicted of 10 separate charges, including leading a criminal gang, engaging in political and military espionage, sexual abuse of minors, rape, blackmail and causing torment.
He was also charged over alleged links with exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a failed military coup in 2016 which killed 251 people and injured more than 2,000.
An upper court overturned that ruling.
Oktar’s views have earned him a degree of notoriety both in Turkey and abroad, having been arrested multiple times before 2018 and having spent time both in prison and a psychiatric unit over the years.
Multiple copies of his widely ridiculed book “the Atlas of Creation” were reportedly shipped unrequested to academics and libraries. In the book he claimed Darwin’s theory of evolution lay at the root of global terrorism.