, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 18 – The Cabinet is set to meet this Saturday to deal with four pending Bills as it moves to ensure crucial laws are passed in a week’s time, ahead of the August 27 deadline.
This will ensure that the Cabinet sends the Bills to Parliament in a bid to beat the deadline set out in the constitution implementation schedule.
Through a statement sent to newsrooms on Thursday, the Cabinet also said that it had approved the Elections Bill.
The Cabinet held another sitting on Tuesday where it approved the Independent Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2011, the Power of Mercy Bill 2011 and the Kenya Heroes Bill 2011.
“The Cabinet held its second sitting this week under the chairmanship of President Mwai Kibaki. The meeting held at State House, Nairobi, approved for publication and tabling in Parliament the Elections Bill 2011,” read the statement in part.
The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) had earlier revealed that it had forwarded all the Bills to the Cabinet for approval after taking them up for publication last week.
CIOC Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed said that the committee was impressed by the efforts made by the Executive and had decided to give them back.
Last week the Committee said it had received the Independent Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission Bill, the Commission on Revenue Allocation Bill, the Police Service Bill, the Police Service Commission Bill and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority Bill.
Others are the Employment and labor Relations Bill, the Elections Bill, the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Bill, the Kenya Citizens and Foreign National Management Service Bill, the Urban Areas and Cities Bill, the Environment and Land Court Bill and the Power of Mercy Bill.
“At least they have given us something to work on because our issue was that we (Parliament) had nothing to do. Plus we also benefit from their discussions because if they agree as Cabinet that counts for something on the floor,” explained Mr Mohammed.
Meanwhile MPs have passed a Motion by the government to reduce the publication period of three policing Bills from 14 to six days.
While introducing the Motion, Deputy Leader of Government Business Amos Kimunya and his Cabinet counterpart George Saitoti said the Bills were crucial to police reforms which should be expedited.
The CIOC also urged MPs to support the Motion and not punish the Executive arguing that the necessary consultations had been done on the Bills including considerations from the Ransley and Naikuni reports.
Suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo urged MPs to consider importance of these Bills to Kenyans adding the police reforms Bills is long overdue.
Turkana Central MP Ekwe Ethuro led in the opposition of the Motion, saying that Parliament should not be treated as a rubber stamp of the Executive, who he claimed was intentionally delaying Bills. He also accused the Executive of denying public participation in the implementation process by locking out committees.
MPs Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu) and John Mbadi (Gwasi) cautioned the House against the government’s plot to rush the Bills in the House.
Mr Ruto added that MPs wanted to give Kenyans good laws, saying that they had only seen the Bills at lunchtime.
The CIOC had already written to the House Business Committee, earlier this month, requesting for an extension of sitting time for MPs. It had also requested that the publication period be shortened.