Bid to extend Bills’ debate yet to reach Speaker

February 16, 2012 2:18 pm
Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende says he is yet to receive a petition seeking extension of deadlines for enacting of Bills related to land and devolution.

The parliamentary committee on Justice and Legal Affairs as well as the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) said on Wednesday that they would petition the House to approve a three-month extension of the February 27 deadline for passage of the Bills.

Such a move would first have to be sanctioned by the Speaker.

“I am aware that it is in the conveyor belt but I will only speak on the matter after I personally receive it,” Marende said on Thursday after casting his ballot during Law Society of Kenya elections.

CIOC as well as the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee had argued that it would be careless for Parliament to debate and pass seven weighty Bills in only six days.

“The six days set aside is not adequate for us to deliberate and dispose of the Bills dealing with devolution and land by virtue of the fact that those are very substantive areas of the Constitution,” said Abdikadir Mohammed, the chairman of CIOC.

Read related story here.

Meanwhile, Marende has called for calm over the uncertainty on the date of the next general elections.

“There is absolutely no reason to be excited about elections; we have had them 10 times since independence. We should instead be peaceful, calm and concentrate on serious business. We have deadlines to meet,” he urged.

Regarding Wednesday’s much-publicised spat between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Eldoret North MP William Ruto, the Speaker said the matter was unlikely to spill outside the House.

On Wednesday, Ruto had engaged Odinga in a heated debate in Parliament over his latest public utterances over his bid to succeed President Mwai Kibaki.

Ruto wanted the PM to state the government’s position whether those who campaigned against the Constitution should be barred from seeking the presidency.



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