Duale Praises ODM leadership over betting bill as debate on betting industry control heats up Assembly
By Joseph Sosi
| August 5th 2016
National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale has identified possibility of money laundering, tax evasion, drug trafficking and terrorism financing as possible threats arising from the betting industry. Duale yesterday pleaded with the house to support the Bill to have a streamlined betting industry in a manner that will enable the ex-checker earn the country more revenue and protect Kenyans.
He said there were individuals emerging in the business only to exploit citizens. He said the Cord coalition had woken up having tabled the motions that considers the lives of Kenyans. Minority leader Francis Nyenze however, said the Bill was timely but required proper involvement of the house business committee as he had not taken part in its preparation. He dismissed the bill saying he had not signed it as a party sponsored bill.
"The bill is not party sponsored since I had not been asked to participate in the preparation of the bill, neither did I sign it unless it is forged," said Mr Nyenze.
Mr Duale accused the minority leader of sleeping on his job as he had been allegedly evading business committee meetings for the last three months in which the bill had passed. Speaker Justine Muturi said the bill had been signed by Deputy minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo and was given priority as required by the parliamentary standing orders.
"It is unusual for party leader to oppose a sponsored motion as it had been signed by his deputy which he said had the authority to sign motions sponsored by the party ," said Mr Muturi.
Mr Duale said the opposition coalition had spent a lot of time working on motions for their own interests.
He said the country had no stadia yet; teams still suffer financial strain and termed betting companies sponsoring sporting activities outside the country as outrageous.
"The exchecker does not access to information on betting from the business stakeholders and we could lose a lot of revenue," said Duale.
Mr Nyenze said he was against betting and he had seen a lot of interest in the industry and asked members to scrutinize and reconstitute the select committee on the matter as it is likely to be compromised.
Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu said many Kenyans were now addicted to betting that they even steal and deny their families’ basic needs only to channel resources to betting. He said many family relations had been threatened by the venture.
"Many families have been broken by loses from betting and even former MPs were now poor as a result of their involvement in the games that can now be accessed by anyone using smartphones,"
He said the lotteries and casinos had now spilled over into villages and was making a lot of people lazy, increased crime and affected learning among young people. Muhoroni MP James Onyango Koyoo said investors in the sector had been vetted and licensed. He said government institutions mandated to license such businesses should be asked to do their jobs properly.
"The Jubilee government is not a failed administration and has proper institutions that can handle the regulation of betting channels," said Mr Koyoo.
He said gambling is a business and his cousin had spent Sh50 and had won Sh20 million that had transformed lives in the village. Deputy minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo tabled the motion before the house over what he termed as lack of sufficient and regulatory frameworks to control the industry that had taken the country by storm.
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