MPs take over Bills as Mutula heeds order

August 9, 2011 4:56 pm


Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee on Tuesday said it had received 12 Bills from Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, which will be scrutinised before the CIOC determines the way forward on Thursday.

CIOC Vice Chairperson Millie Odhiambo said the committee would divide the Bills among three sub-committees for polishing before recommendations are made.

She added that the CIOC sub-committees would then merge on Thursday when the members will decide whether or not to publish them.

The Committee said that it had received the Independent Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission Bill, the Commission on Revenue Allocation Bill, the Police Service Bill, the Police Service Commission Bill, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority Bill and the the Employment and Labour Relations Bill.
Others are the Elections Bill, the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Bill, the Kenya Citizens and Foreign National Management Service Bill, the Urban Areas and Cities Bill, the Environment and Land Court Bill and the Power of Mercy Bill.

Ms Odhiambo however observed that the Commission on Revenue Allocation Bill was only awaiting publication by the Government Printer while the Public Financial Management Bill had not yet been submitted.

“We only have 13 working days so we are making preparations towards publishing because we do not want to go to a process of constitutional amendment; we want to make sure that we pass those Bills,” she said.

“Maybe just for clarification, the Commission on Revenue Allocation Bill was not received as it was due for publication but we will still follow up on its publication,” she explained.

However on Tuesday evening the Cabinet announced that it had approved the three police Bills as well as the Employment and Labour Relations Bill. The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution also revealed that it had released the Elections Bill to the Attorney General.

Ms Odhiambo however maintained that the CIOC would still review them at the sub-committee level and decide the way forward.

“We hope that something happens tomorrow if nothing happens then we have already assigned different members different Bills. We could publish them as they are but that will be decided at the sub-committee level,” she explained.

The CIOC had on Tuesday morning divided the Kenya National Human Rights Commission Bill and National Gender Commission Bill, the Political Parties Bill, the Commission on Administrative Justice Bill and the Ratification of Treaties Bill for scrutiny among the sub-committees.

Ms Odhiambo has also taken up and published the Ratification of Treaties Bill as a private member’s Bill.

The Committee first announced that MPs would take over the process of publishing the Bills from the AG, Cabinet and Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and publish them as private members’ Bills last month.

The legislators are also gearing up for an extension of sitting time to enable them debate and pass the 18 Bills within the next 13 working days.

Last week CIOC Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed announced that the committee had also asked the House Business Committee to consider amending the Parliamentary standing orders so as to shorten the process and time required to pass Bills.

“We will be asking Parliament to make extra sitting time and look for every avenue or mechanism under our standing orders to allow for this work to be completed. Our internal discussions with Parliament have gone far and are almost concluded,” he said last week.

The CIOC had earlier Tuesday given the Justice Minister a six-hour ultimatum to deliver the pending Bills.


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