MPs row will not affect laws, Marende says

April 19, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 19 – The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende on Tuesday said wrangles in the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs and Justice would not affect the House from enacting crucial Constitution bills.

Fielding questions from journalists, Mr Marende said that Parliament might sidestep the committee, explaining that the Bills could be referred directly to the House if the committee was deemed unable to deal with the issue.

"There is no golden rule that says it is the only committee that can prepare the report on the Bill," said Mr Marende.

"Committees exercise delegated authority on behalf of the House and the House is at liberty to delegate to whichever organ it deems appropriate to exercise that mandate if that organ, for instance, is failing," he added.

The committee has been experiencing leadership wrangles after eight members wrote to the Clerk of the National Assembly demanding replacement of the current chairman Ababu Namwamba.

Mr Marende said that Parliament was well ahead of the Constitution implementation deadlines, and blamed the Executive for delaying in formalising Bills to be enacted by the House.

"As far as I\’m concerned, speaking for the Legislature, the larger blame lies with the Government. Those Bills which were brought to Parliament did not arrive until just last week and they are only two," he said.

"We shall do our job but everybody must do their job. We cannot be faulted," he added.

He explained that Parliament is allowed 10 days for the relevant committee to discuss and prepare a report on a Bill before it is taken back to the House for the second reading, where actual debate begins.

The fear has been that with the wrangling in the Justice Committee, progress on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission Bill could be halted.
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