MPs back to work Tuesday after recess

February 8, 2016 11:31 am


The Senate and National Assembly were on recess for two months/FILE
The Senate and National Assembly were on recess for two months/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – Parliament resumes sittings Tuesday with an explosive agenda, key among them passage of the Supplementary Budget, amendments to election laws and the reconstitution of three key House oversight committees.

The Senate and National Assembly were on recess for two months.

The priority for the MPs when they resume their sittings will be the Supplementary Budget which is expected to be submitted to the House by next Monday.

The National Treasury uses the Bill to seek Parliament’s approval to draw more funds from the Consolidated Fund in order to get key government programmes and projects running.

MPs will be keen to approve allocations to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which needs more money for voter registration.

CORD wants the voter listing suspended until the IEBC gets the money to purchase and assign voter registration kits to all the 34,000 polling centres and employ more personnel to register voters.

The commission has already advertised for 2,878 voter registration assistants and will deploy an average of two BVR kits in each of the 1,450 wards. IEBC currently has 15,000 BVR kits which they used in the run up to the 2013 General Elections.

The IEBC needs Sh2 billion to conduct a month long voter registration exercise set to run from next Monday where it expects to net a minimum of four million new voters

The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee is also expected to submit its recommendation on a raft of proposed amendments to electoral laws made by the IEBC.

The proposals touch on among other key electoral issues, voter registration, minimum educational qualifications for candidates to elective offices, referendum, political party nominations, election disputes resolution as well as the procedure for delimitation of electoral boundaries.

The committee led Samuel Chepkonga (Ainabkoi MP) will also seek the approval of the two-thirds gender rule legislation.

The CORD and Jubilee coalitions are expected to square it out, as three powerful house committees hold their polls after MPs amended the Standing Orders to change their status from Standing Committees to Sessional Committees; meaning the chairperson can be changed with every new session.

This follows the directive by the House Speaker Justin Muturi to the Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Public Investments Committee (PIC) which must undergo a reshuffle after a parliamentary session lapses.

Speaker Muturi directed political party whips to submit their nominations for three oversight committees.

However PAC chairman Nicholas Gumbo has petitioned Muturi to rule on duration of his tenure as the chairman of the oversight committee.

Part 1 | Part 2

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