NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 9 – Mediation Committees set up to look into five Bills that have stalled and are deemed to be crucial in the implementation of Big Four agenda, will commence their sittings next week on Monday in a bid to fast-track their passage.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale told Capital FM News on Tuesday that the five committees will meet to deliberate on the Bills and arrive on a consensus.
The Bills: Land Value Index Laws (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No.3 of 2018), the Physical Planning Bill (National Assembly Bill No.34 of 2017), the Irrigation Bill (National Assembly Bill No.46 of 2017) and the Warehouse Receipt System Bill (Senate Bill No.10 of 2017) were forced to be subjected to the mediation stage after the legislators in both Houses failed to agree on its contents.
Consequently, the Speakers of both Houses are mandated to appoint members who would sit in the respective committees.
Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi in consultation with both the Majority and Minority sides in the House has already appointed members of the respective mediation committees in which Duale sits on all of them.
His counterpart in the Senate Kenneth Lusaka is however yet to appoint the members of the respective committees with his latest communication on Wednesday last week on the floor of the House being “I am in the process of appointing Senators to represent the Senate in the Mediation Committees in respect of the Bills under reference,”.
According to Article 113 of the Constitution touching on Mediation Committees, it is a requirement for both Speakers of Parliament to appoint a mediation committee consisting of equal numbers of members of each House to attempt to develop a version of the Bill that both Houses will pass.
During last week’s State of the Nation Address, President Kenyatta pleaded with the leadership of both Houses to fast-track the passage of the Bills terming them as critical in achieving his admistration ambition to see a developed nation.
The National Assembly rejected majority of the Senate amendments touching on the Bills.
Duale’s indication that the teams will kick start the mediation process to arrive at a consensus signals good tidings however, the members will be keen to observe a 30-day window period provided by the constitution where they would be expected to have reached an agreement failure to which the Bills would be deemed defeated.
If the members anyway arrive on a consensus on the amended version of the Bill, each House shall vote to approve or reject it.
If both Houses approve the new document, the Speaker of the National Assembly shall refer the Bill to the President within seven days for assent.
During his communication last month, Muturi emphasized on the need for the legislators to expedite the mediation process for the five Bills but more specifically the Warehouse Receipt System Bill (Senate Bill No.10 of 2017) and the Irrigation Bill (National Assembly Bill No.46 of 2017) arguing they were vital for the budgetary implication on the 2018/2019 Budget, which is now entering its fourth quarter.