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Parliament adjourns early as MPs skip House

NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 20 – Parliament was on Wednesday morning forced to adjourn early after transacting business for only one hour due to absenteeism of MPs who had sponsored Private Member Motions.

Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim informed the House that the mover of the first Motion Ainamoi MP Benjamin Lagat was out of the country on parliamentary business, while Turkana Central MP Ekwe Ethuro who was to move another Motion was bereaved.

The third Motion sponsored by the Emuhaya MP Wilbur Ottichillo suffered the same fate.

Wednesday mornings also known as Private Members Day is reserved for Parliament to deliberate on motions brought by backbench MPs.

Mr Lagat’s Motion wants the government to urgently subsidise the prices of all categories of petroleum fuel to maintain pump prices to a maximum of Sh80 per litre by setting up a Consumer Petroleum Fuel Subsidy Fund through re-allocation of funds from various votes of government ministries.

While Mr Ethuro’s motion sought to have the House compels the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to allocate 10 percent of its budget to all constituencies in equal proportion and another 10 percent to Northern Kenya and ASAL constituencies for provision of water services.

Mr Ottichillo wanted the House to support his bid that the Kenya Government officially demands that the Government of Ethiopia stops the construction of the Gibe III Hydro Power Dam until an independent and comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment is undertaken and appropriate mitigation measures put in place.

Parliament only returned from a three-week break on Tuesday to a heavy legislative agenda amidst growing concerns over the slow implementation of the new Constitution.

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Bills ready for introduction in Parliament include the Political parties, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Gender Commission and the Ombudsman Bills.

Devolution Bills which are still under scrutiny by the Constitution Implementation Commission and the Kenya Law Reforms Commission must be enacted by August 27 this year.

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