MPs go on recess after year marked with controversy

MPs in Parliament. [File, Standard]
The National Assembly on Thursday proceeded on recess after an eventful year that saw them pass 11 Bills that have become laws.

Among the Bills that Parliament passed was the creation of the The Kenya Coast Guard Service Bill that has provided for the establishment of a force to guard Kenya’s internal and territorial waters.

The highlight of Parliament was the passing of the controversial Finance Bill that saw members engage in a shouting match.

The Bill that was signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta increased the levy on fuel sparking a public outcry.

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The National Assembly passed and forwarded to the Senate 17 Bills which are awaiting approval among them the Copyright (Amendment), Land Value Index Laws (Amendment), 2018, Division of Revenue (Amendment) and County Allocation of Revenue (Amendment) Bill and Government Contracts Bills.

The delay by Senate to pass the Energy Bill, Petroleum Bill, Irrigation Bill 2017, Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill, Warehouse Receipt System Bill, Kenya Roads Bill dating back to last year has negatively impacted on its performance.

Others are Public Private Partnerships (Amendment) Bill, Physical Planning Bill, 2017, County Governments Retirement Scheme Bill, 2018 and the Assumption of Office of the County Governor Bill, 2018 which have been lying on the Senate for a year.

The Energy Bill passed by the National Assembly in 2017 sought to consolidate the laws relating to energy, align the legal and regulatory framework of the energy sector with the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

Also awaiting Senate approval is the Land Value Index Laws (Amendment) Bill that proposes to amend the Land Act, the Land Registration Act and the Prevention, Protection and Assistant to Internally Displaced Persons and Affected Communities Act in order to provide for the assessment of land value index in respect of compulsory acquisition of land.

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Failure by the Senate to pass the Bills could indict it on performance according to Kipkelion West MP Hillary Kosgei who believes that they were not doing enough.

Yesterday Majority Leader Aden Duale lauded the House for working diligently during the year. “The House performed well and we would have cleared about 30 bills, had there be no delay in the approvals by Senate,” he said.

National Assembly majority whip Benjamin Washiali said Duale and Speaker Justin Muturi’s performance was exemplary.

“Duale’s performance was exemplary, he was very instrumental in the year, we hope that after recess we can do better and push the National Assembly’s performance to the top,” he said.

What caused a furore in the House and outside was the Report of the joint sittings of the Departmental Committees on Agriculture and Livestock and Trade, Industry and Cooperatives on the inquiry into alleged Importation of illegal and contaminated sugar into the country.

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Parliament will resume sittings in February 2019.  

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