HOUSE OF CARDS

Duale, Murkomen in bitter exchange over Health Laws Bill

In Summary

• The two took to Twitter where they traded barbs over the legality of the contentious Bill.

• The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator said he was not aware the Health Bill was among those to be assented to by the President when he was invited to State House.

President Uhuru Kenyatta when he assented to the Health Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on May 13, 2019.
President Uhuru Kenyatta when he assented to the Health Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on May 13, 2019.
Image: PSCU

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and his Senate counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen on Tuesday were involved in a bitter exchange of words over the Health Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The two took to Twitter where they traded barbs over the legality of the contentious Bill which was signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday.

Duale fired the first salvo terming Murkomen as 'hypocritical' for challenging the assenting of the Bill by the President.

 

"Never mind yesterday media was awash with pictures of Senator @kipmurkomen standing next to the President assenting to the same Bill which he is now challenging how it was processed by the @NAssemblyKE. This is pure hypocrisy and one which requires to be treated with contempt!"Duale tweeted.

The Bill was passed by the National Assembly in December last year but was returned with Uhuru's reservations on some clauses of the Bill on December 30 for reconsideration by Parliament in terms of Article 115 of the Constitution.

The August House thereafter considered the reservations and approved the Bill on February 28, 2019.

The Garissa Town MP wondered why Murkomen waited until the Bill was assented to raise concerns on the nature of the Bill and why he never shared his reservations with the House speaker.

"The Bill was passed last year by the @NAssemblyKE why raise issues on the Bill 5 months later? Only he can answer but whatever his reasoning one thing is certain he has chosen to feign ignorance of the provisions of the Constitution. For what reasons only he knows," Duale added.

However, soon after the series of tweets by Duale, Murkomen hit back.

The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator said he was not aware the Health Bill was among those to be assented to by the President when he was invited to State House.

"Just before the signing ceremony I overheard that there were Health laws to be signed. I protested to @HonAdenDuale ,Solicitor Gen. & other SH staff for presenting Health laws for signature against the Constitution. I told them they had the duty to give proper counsel to the HE ," Murkomen said.

He maintained the Constitution makes it mandatory for the Senate to be involved in the passing of all laws.

This he said, was either by the concurrence of the Speaker that it doesn’t concern county or if it does concern county, must be debated and considered by both Houses. 

"Since the President has tried in the past to resolve the matter unsuccessfully I felt it was going to be rude inside the signing room for me to try and stop the Head of State who had the services of AG, SG and other senior officers from signing something I hadn’t even seen,"Murkomen added.

He said he had already updated the Senate on the matter and had resolved as a House to go to court and annul all laws passed in contravention of Article 110 of the Constitution.

"The Constitution is on the side of Senate and we shall soon know the truth and the truth will set us free when all laws passed in violation of it will be declared null and void," Murkomen maintained.