Concerned MPs want to take over Bills

July 15, 2011 5:35 pm
CIOC Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed/ File

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 15- The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) on Friday revealed plans by concerned MPs to take up the creation and publication of crucial Bills that are required by August 27 from the government so as to avert a possible constitutional crisis.

CIOC Chairman Abdikadir Mohamed said that his committee first met and communicated its intention to the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC), the Attorney General, the Kenya Law Reform Commission as well as various line ministers involved in the process in April.

He added that the committee had further scheduled another meeting for July 19 with the relevant actors to review the progress made since April so as to advance a way forward.

Mr Mohamed argued that Parliament would be held liable for not passing the Bills on time yet the relevant bodies had not forwarded them to the House.

“About a week and a half ago we alerted all those entities that in two weeks time MPs will be back in the House and we don’t have any Bills that are published or outstanding in the House and we have the August 27 deadline,” he said.

“So we expected them to fast track these processes so that by the time we go back to the House on Tuesday we have work but as I speak to you today I am not aware of any published Bills,” he said.

Key government institutions that have outstanding legislative Bills include the Head of Civil Service, the ministry of local government, the ministry of Finance, the lands ministry, the internal security ministry and the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s office.

MPs amended the standing orders that required private members to seek leave of House before proposing and tabling private bills when they assumed office in 2008.

Mr Mohamed explained that the move enabled legislators to bring their Bills without following the stringent bureaucracies that were initially required noting that it would help ensure the Constitutional deadlines were met.

“What used to happen before that was that legislations used to come from the Executive and if you wanted to pass a Private Member’s Bill you had to seek the authority of the House,” he noted.

He also said that the Constitution gave MPs in the next National Assembly the authority to make laws thereby opening up the process further.

“After the next elections we will not have cabinet secretaries or cabinet ministers coming to the floor of the House to propose legislations. All laws will be proposed by MPs who will be back benchers,” he observed.

The CIOC Chairman, who was speaking during the National Delegation Convention of the Safina party in Nairobi, also called on the government to ensure that the commissioners sitting in the CIC were paid. He said that the government had no option but to pay them in order to ensure that the Constitution was implemented as required.

“There’s nothing wrong in saying that we are a poor third world country and might not afford to pay these salaries but nothing stops us from coming together and deciding a way forward. But they ought to be reasonably paid,” he said.

He also renewed his calls to MPs to pay taxes saying the legislators didn’t have an option. He however said that there was need for the MPs to work out the tax modalities with the Attorney General and the Kenya Revenue Allocation.


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