It has now emerged that MPs disregarded an advisory from Parliament’s legal department when they voted to approve all the nine individuals nominated to the National Land Commission (NLC).
The National Assembly Wednesday voted to approve the nominees without debating a report of the House Committee on Lands that had vetted them and rejected the candidature of former Isiolo County Woman MP Tiya Galgalo.
But Ms Galgalo’s sigh of relief came when Isiolo North MP Hassan Hulufo successfully moved an amendment to the report to expunge the part that had rejected her over tax compliance issues.
The action by the MPs means that the names of the nominees; Gershom Otachi (chairman), Esther Murugi, James Tuitoek, Gertrude Nguku, Reginald Okumu, Hubbie Al-Haji, Alister Mutugi, Kazungu Kambi, and Galgalo will now be sent to the president for appointment and subsequent swearing-in.
The Lands Committee chaired by Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai had rejected Ms Galgalo after Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) invalidated the tax compliance certificate she had presented during her vetting.
However, a letter from KRA clarifying that she had complied with her tax obligations was sent to the National Assembly way after the committee had filed its report.
The legal department advised the MPs that the letter from KRA constituted new evidence and it was prudent that it be returned to the committee for clearance.
“First move a motion to extend the time of the committee so as to allow it consider the new matters without the threat of operation of law on deeming of approval,” the brief from the legal department reads.
The opinion sought to cushion the danger of having the individuals standing the benefit of being nominated without seeking the extension according to the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act.