(July 2, 2008) Two new bills, the Constitution of Kenya Review bill 2008 and the Constitution of Kenya amendment bill 2008, seeking to deter the government, parliament, former commissioners of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, and civil servants from interfering in the constitutional review process, were recently proposed in Kenya's Parliament. The bills mandate that the constitutional review process is to occur only through the committee of experts (see next paragraph), the parliamentary select committee, the National Assembly, and a referendum. The bills give the committee of experts the power to make decisions on which areas of a draft constitution should be amended or deleted, a mandate previously in the hands of the government and politicians. Members of the committee would be immune from arrest under the civil process while participating in any meeting of the committee in accordance with the provisions of the bills.
The committee of experts is a seven-member committee composed of four Kenyans and three foreigners. Three committee members are nominated by the National Dialogue and Reconciliation Committee, a panel of eminent Africans selected by the African Union to assist Kenya in resolving the national crisis triggered by the December 2007 elections, and the rest are put forward by the parliamentary select committee. Members of the committee are then appointed by the President of Kenya. (Kenya: New Bills to 'Deter' MPs from Interfering with Constitutional Review, AFP, June 20, 2008, Open Source Center No. AFP20080620950033.)