AS the timetable for official launching of the Constituent Assembly (CA) is badly affected by preliminary arrangements like fixing Standing Orders, efforts to reduce time for members to take oaths failed.
On Tuesday evening, the Interim Chairman, Mr Ameir Pandu Kificho, cautioned that the seminar for drafting Standing Orders was time-consuming as members spent a lot of time on unnecessary arguments.
Members tried to shorten the time for taking oaths unsuccessfully.
Although the three-day time for oaths was basically allocated in the defunct timetable, some members saw the need to shorten the time so that the exercise could be accomplished in a day for other activities to take place.
Mr Ezekiah Oluoch suggested that the oaths be taken in groups just like it once happened when legislators for the African Union Parliament did so to save time. He was supported by Mr Freeman Mbowe who insisted that the CA must learn to stick to time to meet the deadline of its activities.
He added that taking oaths within a day will also save costs and portray CA members as responsible and accountable people. “Mr Chairman, this assembly has a timetable which must be respected. Why should we consume all three days for an activity that could be accomplished in a day! We need to be responsible,” he said.
Some members made quick calculations and found that if the oaths could be done in a day, it would save over 500m/- which Mr Mbowe said was a lot of money. But all the efforts suffered a knock as the Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Anne Makinda rose and said that taking oaths individually was not only important but was also a prayer that every members must say honestly and openly.
“Crash programmes can be made in other activities but not when members of the assembly are taking oaths! Taking an oath was a special moment of prayer which should be observed by each member individually,” she said.
Mr Kificho and the Chairman of the Committee on drafting of the Standing Orders, Prof. Costa Mahalu had to give in after Ms Makinda’s contribution and the matter was finally endorsed.
In another development, some members wanted the CA regulations to be strict on some trends where some members might opt to boycott the sessions for reasons known to themselves.
Dr Zainab Gama wanted such members to be strictly dealt with since their attempts to boycott might disrupt and affect the activities of the assembly.
Two members of the committee on Standing Orders cautioned that it was early to predict that some members might boycott sessions, therefore the regulations had nothing to do with that for the time being.
“Let us not predict that chaos will happen to the extent of disputing sessions of this assembly. But if that happens, it will then be dealt with accordingly depending on the circumstances,” said Mr Frederick Warema supported by Dr Tulia Ackson.