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Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim/FILE


Speaker orders ‘cleanup’ of new laws

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – The Clerk of the National Assembly and the Attorney General have been directed to carry out an audit of all Bills that were hurriedly passed by Parliament to beat the August 27 Constitution implementation deadline.

Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim who was issuing a ruling on alterations made on the Elections Act directed the two institutions to report back to the House within two weeks.

“On these findings it is clear that other than the failure to delete the word ‘not’ made by (MP Danson) Mungatana,” Maalim told the House.

He noted that the AG had already moved to publish an amendment to correct the error in the Act, which MPs said, was introduced in the Bill after it was passed by Parliament.

Maalim also absolved the Government Printer of foul play.

The Deputy Speaker told the House that the error had been introduced at the AG’s office, where one word — “not” — was not removed from one of the clauses, apparently in the rush to meet the August 27 constitutional deadline.

He reprimanded the Garsen MP for misleading the House.

“It is not true that the words ‘Presidential’ and ‘Deputy Presidential’ were inserted elsewhere into a law passed by Parliament, these words were inserted by the house itself by the very same Honourable Mungatana,” he said

Maalim added; “It was also not true that the word ‘not’ was inserted into the Act by outside forces, this word was in the Elections Bill as it was presented before the House.”

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He lauded the vigilance on Bills that are debated and passed in the House, but also urged MPs against sensationalism.

Gichugu MP Martha Karua however maintained that the matter should be investigated further.

She added; “Yes we were working under pressure but until there are investigations how can we know it is innocent, when it has been happening repeatedly? We need directions whether henceforth voicing suspicions will be outlawed in this House.”

Mungatana had said that Section 34 (9) of the Elections Act contained three words that had not been inserted during the Third Reading.

The draft Bill read: “The party list shall not contain a name of any candidate nominated for an election under this Act.”

Mungatana had successfully proposed to delete the words “shall not” and replace them with “may” on August 26.

The final section should, therefore, have read: “The party list may contain a name of any candidate nominated for an election under this Act.”

The effect of this is that a party can include all other persons who have contested different seats such as the Senate and leave out the presidential candidate and his running mate.

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