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20 Bills yet to reach MPs despite August deadline

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22 – The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Farah Maalim is accusing the Executive of slowing down the implementation of the Constitution, saying some 20 Bills that should be passed by August are yet to reach the House.

Speaking during the last day of the National Constitution Implementation Conference in Nairobi, Mr Maalim pointed out that Parliament had passed eight laws, which have been brought before it since the promulgation of the Constitution, but that the Executive had been holding up the process.

"I would rate Parliament very well but the Executive needs to pull up its socks. We are prepared to sit as late as it takes to get the 20 pieces of remaining legislations in place but we have to wait for the Executive to put its act together," he said.

"We do not create laws; we only debate and pass them," he said.

According to the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) the Kenya National Human Rights Commission Bill, the Ombudsman Commission Bill, the Political Parties Bill and the Commission for Revenue Allocation Bill are all waiting Cabinet approval.

The deputy Speaker also lauded the CIC saying it had so far done a commendable job despite challenges that had cropped up.

"Well it has done a good job although there were a few hiccups here and there. It had been depended upon to interpret the Constitution in the absence of a Supreme Court and a Chief Justice," he said.

"But now that we have the Supreme Court, the CIC will give up certain tasks that it took upon itself that should be handled by the Court," he noted.

He however observed that managing the transitional period, from the old order to the new order, continued challenging the wholesome implementation of the Constitution.

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Mr Maalim said that there was often a clash in the interpretation of certain transitional clauses by the various government organs and agencies. 

"There are a lot of provisions from the old Constitution that are still with us including the very obvious things like the Prime Minister. I mean we don\’t have a PM in the Constitution that was promulgated last year," he said.

"This is a matter that will have to stay with us until the next elections so we are using the two Constitutions along with the National Accord and other things," he said.

CIC Charles Nyachae on Tuesday said that all the provisions of the Constitution were active even though the effecting Acts might not yet be passed.

"We (CIC) wish to remind our leaders and indeed all Kenyans that from August 27, 2010 the Constitution is fully in force even where facilitative laws have not been enacted," he said.

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