MPs set out ambitious plan to pass laws

April 14, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 14 – The Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee has set out an ambitious deadline that will see all the constitution implementation laws are enacted before the current Parliament is disbanded.

Chairman Abdikadir Mohamed said that the target follows the concern by key reform institutions which indicated that Parliament was dragging its feet in enacting the laws.

"While the Constitution gives a five year deadline, we have given ourselves an internal deadline of two years so that all the Bills are passed," he said.

"For example the Land Bill is not within one year but we know if we don\’t deal with the land issues immediately there is going to be a big lag in as far as implementation is concerned," he added.

The parliamentary team will also meet with the Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister to get government support in regards to preparation of the necessary Bills.

Mr Abdikadir said the reality of government bureaucracy is that draft Bills originate from line ministries which have the policies before they are taken to the Kenya Law Reform Commission and then sent to Commission for Implementation of Constitution and later the Attorney General.

"We intend to go further and not leave it to these coordinating teams. We are calling on the Head of the Public Service next week on Thursday so that we get this to the lower level to their civil servants – who basically are the experts as far as the policies are concerned in each of those ministries. And the ministers that take this issues to Cabinet," he said.

Speaking after a meeting with the Commission for Implementation of Constitution and the Commission on Revenue Allocation, the Mandera Central MP assured Kenyans of Parliament\’s commitment to ensure the full implementation of the new Constitution.

Mr Abdikadir said he could not understand why there was talk of new Bills out there and yet there was none that has been taken before Parliament

The government has been taken to task over its slow pace in preparation of crucial Bills that will realise the implementation of the new Constitution.

The political class has also come under criticism for politicking and loosing focus on the implementation of the new Constitution instead giving preference to The Hague debate.

"If the Bills don\’t land in Parliament, it can neither fast track nor facilitate any Bills. But we wanted to go further and call all the institutions that are responsible for this process and demand of them that deadlines be met, that we have that pipeline not dry," he said.

He said this would remedy the problem of Parliament going through three weeks without implementation Bills being debated.

Bills on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the Salaries Remuneration Commission were tabled in Parliament on Wednesday for debate and subsequent adoption.

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