, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – Two parliamentary committees are proposing a three-month extension of the February 27 constitutional deadline for passage of Bills related to land and devolution.
The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) as well as the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee said on Wednesday 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 off 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.
The two committees held consultations on Wednesday with the Attorney General, the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, the Office of the President, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Justice, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, and the Kenya Law Reform Commission.
The Constitution allows Parliament to seek an extension of the implementation deadline for up to one year, but it also says that the decision to allow such a vote rests with the Speaker.
Article 261 Clause (1) of the Constitution states that, the National Assembly may, by resolution supported by the votes of at least two-thirds of all the members of the National Assembly (148 MPs), extend the period prescribed in respect of any particular matter …by a period not exceeding one year.
The Legal Affairs Committee Vice Chairman Njoroge Baiya said they will be seeking to convince the Speaker of the need for the Motion.
Should the vote pass the deadline for the seven pieces of legislation will now be pushed to May 26.
The matter comes even as the House approved a Motion by the leader of government business in Parliament to extend the sitting days for Parliament so that MPs can sit on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
The Bills that MPs want to look at for three months are the County Governments Bill, 2012, which is being debated in the House. There’re also the Intergovernmental Relations Bill and the Transition to County Governments Bill.
The National Land Commission Bill, the Land Bill, the Land Registration Bill and the Community Land Bill will also be eligible for the fresh deadline. There’s also the Public Finance Management Bill