PRIORITY BILLS ONLY

Crunch time for MPs with only 12 sittings to end of term

Parliament set to adjourn on June 6 until after August 9 general elections

In Summary

•Members would also give priority to elections-related regulations tabled by the IEBC and regulations related to National Treasury.

•Private members' bills would only be considered if not concerning counties.

Parliament Buildings
Parliament Buildings
Image: FILE

The National Assembly is in a race against time to conclude crucial business ahead of indefinite adjournment of the House.

As of Friday, only 12 sittings are left.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has made the rallying call reiterating the sense of urgency for MPs to act on some critical business with statutory timelines.

Lawmakers are expected to conclude the consideration of the budget estimates for the financial year 2022-23, the Appropriations Bill 2022, Finance Bill 2022 and the County Revenue Allocation Bill 2022.

The House leadership has also prioritised the Huduma Bill 2021, Children’s Bill 2021, Universities (Amendment) Bill 2021, Disaster Management Bill 2021, Persons with Disabilities Bill 2021 and the Public Finance Management Bill 2022.

Members would also give priority to elections-related regulations tabled by the IEBC and regulations related to National Treasury as well as private members bills.

To cut time and prevent the death of bills if not approved in this current parliament, only private members’ bills which do not affect county governments would be considered.

Muturi revealed that the resolution was reached by the House Business Committee in a meeting on Monday this week.

“The committee approved that only private members’ bills that do not concern county government would be given priority. If they concern counties, they are likely to die in the other House (Senate),” the speaker said.

He called upon members to ensure there is order during transactions and for them to avoid fights that may derail and waste legislative time.

“As the representative of the people, the pending businesses in the House are of huge significance of wananchi. It is paramount that we finish all the pending business before the House adjourns sine die,” Muturi said.

He urged lawmakers to desist from carrying their political differences to the House,  saying it was a recipe for chaos. The sine die recess begins June 6.

“Politics is now at the centre stage, members should refrain from bringing their political differences hence causing disorder,” Muturi said.

“Politicking should be the preserve of public rallies but not the floor of this House. It will not be possible for pending business to be considered in a disorderly, chaotic house.”

The 12th Parliament has transacted about 320 bills since 2017 of which about 170 were passed by the two Houses for those concerning counties.

From October 2021 to April, the National Assembly had passed over 40 bills of which some have been assented to and others pending in the Senate.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, a speaker’s report shows, he has assented to 32 bills of which 30 originated in the National Assembly.

At least 14 of the bills were from committees and five from members.

The successful private members’ bills included The Law of Succession Act 2021 by Homa Bay MP Peter Kaluma, Employment (Amendment) Act, 2021 by Gilgil MP Martha Wangari.

Kenya Deposit Insurance Act 2022 by Imenti North MP Raheem Dawood, Industrial Training Act 2022(by Kiambu MP Jude Njomo) and the Employment Act 2022 (by Nominated MP Gideon Keter).

Several private members’ bills are also at the precipice of being lost with the term of the current parliament coming to an end in three weeks.

They include the Public Service Internship Bill 2020 by Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda, CDF bill (Tindi Mwale), Penal Code Bill (Nimrod Mbai), Whistleblower Protection Bill 2021 and Several Public Procurement bills.

Others are Gathoni Wamuchomba’s Sexual Offences Bill, Health Bill(Alice Wahome), Criminal Procedure Code Bill (Nelson Koech), and Aden Duale’s Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Bill.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

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