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Thursday, November 25, 2010


Burglars break into reforms team offices

Some the computers that were destroyed lie on the floor of the Kenya Law Reform Commission offices after they were burglarised on November 23, 2010. Photo/WILLIAM OERI
Some the computers that were destroyed lie on the floor of the Kenya Law Reform Commission offices after they were burglarised on November 23, 2010. Photo/WILLIAM OERI 
By PETER LEFTIE pmutibo@ke.nationmedia.comPosted Thursday, November 25 2010 at 22:23
Burglars dealt a blow to the drive for a new constitutional order when they broke into the offices of a commission working on key Bills.
The raid on the Kenya Law Reform Commission has been blamed on those intent on sabotaging the implementation of the new Constitution.
The burglars struck on Monday night and only targeted computers used by staff working on Bills related to the new laws and reforms on security. Up to 18 computers and sensitive data in them were damaged.
They also stole hard drives containing information on our mandate. We are feeling vulnerable,” said Ms Nancy Baraza, the vice chair of the commission on the third floor of Nairobi’s Kenya Re-Insurance building.
The Kenya Law Reform Commission is playing a key role in the implementation of the Constitution by drafting Bills to be passed by Parliament.
The Bills are vital for giving force to some aspects of the new law. Commission staff feared that the pace of developing Bills may be severely slowed down because of the Monday night raid.
News of the break-in came as MPs debated the names of the chairmen and members to the Commissions on the Implementation of the Constitution and Revenue Allocation Commission.
The names were tabled in the House by Ms Amina Abdallah (Nominated, PNU), a member of the Justice and Legal Affairs committee and Mr Chris Okemo (Nambale, ODM) who chairs the Parliamentary Committee on Finance.
The committees received the names on Wednesday evening after President Kibaki, in consultation with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, nominated lawyer Charles Nyachae to head the Implementation Commission and former Central Bank of Kenya governor Micah Cheserem to chair the Commission on Revenue Allocation.
The President also nominated eight as members to the Implementation Commission. Political parties had given seven names of their nominees to the Revenue Allocation Commission to the Finance committee.
On Thursday, Speaker Kenneth Marende extend the House sitting to ensure the names were debated and passed by the MPs to beat the deadline.
The Implementation Commission has the task of monitoring, facilitating and overseeing the development of laws and administrative procedures for the new law.
It will work alongside the Attorney-General and the Kenya Law Reform Commission in drawing up Bills.
The Commission on Revenue Allocation’s job is to determine how money will be shared between the national government and the devolved governments by ensuring it is equitable.
The burglars at the Law Reform Commission are believed to have struck around midnight.
“They had all the time to roam the whole floor breaking doors and ripping out computers. We have lost a lot of data. It is demoralising given all the hours we have put in,” Ms Baraza said on Thursday.
Commission secretary Joash Dache said investigations had been launched. He added that the commission keeps a back-up of all the Bills and research work it is working on.
The Law Society of Kenya, which works closely with the commission, blamed the raid on people hell-bent on sabotaging the new Constitution.
The society’s secretary, Mr Apollo Mboya, asked why the burglars targeted computers containing data on the new Constitution.
“And why at this time when we are running against time to beat the deadlines set in the new Constitution? We smell a rat,” Mr Mboya said.

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