NCAC to forward amendments to Constitutional Affairs Ministry

By Claire Wanja

The National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) will present its proposed Constitutional Amendments to the Ministry for Justice and Constitutional Affairs next week.

The Committee, chaired by constitutional lawyer, Gichira Kibara, reconvened in Juba this week and is set to complete the proposed amendments.

Mr. Kibara said that some of the thorny issues, which led to the deadlock in February, last year “have since been overcome or overtaken by events.”

Matters under contention included the fate of the 28 States, vacancies of Members of Parliament, Chairing of the First Session of the expanded Transitional National Legislative Assembly and appointment of presidential advisers.

“We have been looking at the Constitutional Amendment proposals and for the last two days, we have gone through the entire Constitution and the Agreement afresh. We have made great strides,” Kibara said.

The Committee Chairman also led a small delegation of the Committee to meet and brief the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Paulino Wanawila, at the Ministry headquarters in Juba on Wednesday.

The Minister welcomed the progress so far made by the committee.

“I am delighted to hear the latest progress. We are all ready to work harmoniously to ensure the Peace Agreement is implemented. There is no other way about it,” he said.

The Minister is expected to forward the proposed amendments to the Council of Ministers and thereafter to the National Parliament for debate.

The NCAC was established under Chapter One, Paragraph 13 of the IGAD-led ARCSS Peace Agreement to spearhead constitutional amendments in the country.

The committee is comprised of 8-members that brings together representatives of the government of South Sudan (two), members of the armed opposition (two), former detainees (one) and representative of IGAD (two).

According to the Peace Agreement, the constitutional amendments, if passed by parliament, will incorporate the peace deal into the national constitution.