, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 7- Senators, Governors and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) have ganged up against Members of the National Assembly over the position taken on the Division of Revenue Bill, urging the President to reject it.
The three institutions argue that President Uhuru Kenyatta cannot assent to the Bill in its current form because it is unconstitutional.
Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki told journalists on Friday that the National Assembly had reversed an amendment created by the Senate and were attempting to have it passed as it was effectively bypassing the input of the Senate.
Article 112 (1) (a) of the Constitution states that if one House passes an ordinary Bill concerning Counties and the other House rejects it, then the Bill must be referred to a mediation committee.
“If the President assents to that Bill it is going to be unconstitutional and that is not very helpful considering that this is a Bill about public finances,” he argued.
Senators altered the Bill by increasing the County allocation from Sh210 billion to Sh248 billion but the National Assembly Members quashed the decision.
Kindiki added that it was important to set up the mediation committee to resolve the impasse arguing that it risked paralysing the functions of Counties by denying them the crucial financial support.
If the President assents to that Bill it is going to be unconstitutional and that is not very helpful considering that this is a Bill about public finances – Kindiki argued
“The Senate needs to be told why it is impossible to increase the money from Sh210 billion to Sh248 billion and we are willing to listen because we also have reasons why that is the minimum money required,” he explained.
The Constitution requires the Speakers of both the Senate and the National Assembly to appoint a mediation committee consisting of an equal number of Members if either House rejects a Bill as amended.
If the mediation committee fails to agree on a version of the Bill or if the version proposed by the committee is rejected by either House, then the Bill is defeated.
Kindiki however maintained that the Senate would not go to Court to compel the National Assembly to consider its input.
“We are politicians and lawmakers; we do not intend to engage in an academic exercise. We believe in division of labour and we believe that there are other entities that might be more appropriate to seek Court interpretation,” he stated.