Kenyatta Picks Lawyer Gershom Otachi to Head NLC

19 August 2019

President Uhuru Kenyatta has picked lawyer Gerishom Otachi to lead the National Land Commission for the next six years.

Mr Otachi, who co-owns Ogetto Otachi and Co advocates with solicitor General Kennedy Ogetto, was part of former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali's legal team during his trial at the International Criminal Court at The Hague over the 2007/08 post-election violence.

CORRUPTION

In a letter to the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, President has sought the approval of the House for Mr Otachi's appointment as the second chairman of the NLC.

The President also picked former Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi, Prof James Tuitoek, Getrude Nduku Nguku, Reginald Okumu, former Labour Cabinet Secretary Samuel Kazungu Kambi, Ms Hubbie Hussein Al-Haji, Mr Alister Murimi Mutugi and former Isiolo Woman Rep Tiya Galgalo to serve as NLC commissioners.

Mr Otachi emerged top from a list of 11 individuals who had shown interest to replace Prof Mahammad Swazuri whose reign was marred by endless accusations of corruption.

The six-year term of the previous commissioners expired on February 19, and should he be approved, Mr Otachi will have an enviable task of restoring the image of an agency whose reputation has been affected by claims of corruption.

"Standing Order 45 requires that upon receipt of notification of nomination for appointments such nominations shall stand committed to the relevant departmental committee," Mr Muturi says in his communication.

RECESS

The House is already on a month long recess until September 10. However, House rules require that once the Speaker receives such notifications from the President, when the House is on recess, such nominations shall stand committed to the relevant departmental committee.

In this case, the matter is actively before the Committee on Lands which is chaired by Kitui South MP Rachel Nyamai.

The committee is mandated to inform the public and start the process of vetting the nominees by asking the public to forward any concerns they may have on any of nominees.

The committee will then conduct approval hearings on each of the nominees and prepare a report to be tabled before the House for debate.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Committee will prepare its report on the suitability of each candidate.

In the report, they shall include recommendations as the Committee may consider necessary

In his communication to the media, Mr Muturi further directed the Clerk of the National Michael Sialai to convey the notification together with the testimonials of all the nominees to all MPs.

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