NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo is now blaming the offices of the Attorney General and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) for the delays in the enactment of laws required for the implementation process.
Speaking to journalists at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday, Mr Kilonzo said that his ministry had already drafted all key laws for debate and enactment.
“I have produced all the laws and I even published them as early as August 30, last year, but the bureaucracy is phenomenal! I originated the Bills then forwarded them to the AG and CIC,” he said. “You will be surprised that the ones that I forwarded a month and a half ago have not received any acknowledgement.”
The Minister is warning that the time lag could affect the structures that need to be in place before next year’s General Election and is proposing a review of Parliament’s Standing Orders to reduce the 10-day mandatory period between the first and second reading of Bills in the House.
“As far as I am concerned, that is wastage on the part of Kenya. I was ready to move a procedural Motion even today to reduce the ten days so that I start the second reading of that law,” he stated.
“We finished the Police Bills even before we set up the CIC. There are five (Bills) and they have still not made their way to Parliament,” he explained. “Even last night, I could not convince the House Business Committee to put them on the order paper for today.”
During his address to Parliament last month, President Mwai Kibaki outlined 25 Bills which needed to be debated and passed urgently. Out of those, only three have been tabled.
Four of the Bills relate to elections, political parties and Parliament, two on the Judiciary, four on Public Finance and another four on Security.
There are also four Bills on Devolution, another four on the Bill of Rights and Citizenship, while the rest are on the Public Service and Leadership. The Constitution says Parliament can be dissolved if it fails to meet the deadlines for enacting the new laws.
The Kenya Law Reform Commission, the CIC, AG’s Chambers and the Ministry of Justice are the key bodies involved in the drafting of the laws before Parliament debates and enacts them.
Other than the new laws, the Constitution requires that all the existing commissions be re-constituted and three others put in place by August.
Parliament is also supposed to amend some of the existing laws so that they are consistent with the new Constitution.
The new commissions are The National Land Commission, the Commission on Revenue Allocation and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.