, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 11 – Parliament’s Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) on Wednesday issued a January 20 publication deadline for all Bills touching on devolution.
CIOC Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed told journalists in Naivasha that the three Bills on devolution needed to be ready by next Friday to prevent the last minute rush witnessed last year, when the implementation actors wanted to beat the August 27 deadline.
He argued that it was crucial to have the Bills ready on time in order to give legislators ample time to scrutinise and debate them before final passage.
The CIOC which spent a better part of Wednesday in a close-door meeting with Attorney General Githu Muigai and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) chairman Charles Nyachae, however noted that consultations around the Public Finance Management Bill, also required for devolution were still ongoing.
“Moving forward, all the Bills dealing with devolution, except the Public Finance Management Bill, have to be published by the 20th of this month so that when Parliament reconvenes at the end of January or early February, those Bills will be ready for discussion,” he explained.
He further noted that talks surrounding the bulky Lands Bill, which also has a February 27 by-date, were still going on adding that a deadline for its publication would be issued at a later date.
Several implementation actors, including the line ministry, have to be consulted before the Lands Bill can get the green light to go Parliament.
“We are waiting for a Kamukunji (informal meeting) which will be held between the Ministry of Lands and Parliament with the support of the CIC and the Attorney General, sometime this month,” he said.
The AG and the CIC had earlier assured the public of their commitment to the Constitution implementation process saying there was no crisis.
Muigai told journalists that the process was well on course and that he did not have any personal issues with the Nyachae-led team.
He however maintained that his office had the last say in the implementation process adding that it was mandated to advise all organs involved in the process.
“The State Law Office enjoys a singular constitutional responsibility and that responsibility is to advise all organs of government on the implementation of the Constitution and the law,” he said.
He also said that his office would not abuse its responsibility, as an advisory body, and it would cooperate with all other implementation players to ensure the full implementation of the law.
Nyachae, on his part, said there was need for all the implementation actors to understand their mandate in the process so as to avoid any clashes.
He said there was need to clarify what responsibility each organ carried in the implementation process in order to avoid hiccups.
“For us to be able to move forward we need to be able to commit ourselves to an understanding of the processes by which we deliver our mandate and to stick to those processes. It’s very important that there be no lack of clarity on what those processes are,” he said.
Muigai and Nyachae had been involved in a public spat over the implementation process. While Nyachae accused the AG of delaying the process, the AG accused the CIC of overstepping its mandate.