Dogged by corruption claims, Kenyan MPs pass 170 Bills

Saturday June 17 2017



Kenya's Parliament in session. PHOTO | FILE

Kenya's Parliament in session. PHOTO | FILE  

By FRED OLUOCH

The 11th Kenyan parliament came to an end on June 15, amid accusations of corruption. But the bicameral House passed a record 170 Bills, 10 of which were signed into law. Another 28 were meant to implement the 2010 Constitution.

But all was not rosy. At some point, the Senate accused the National Assembly of not considering 30 of their Bills which, in effect, technically died.

The Senate’s website shows that it sent 42 Bills to the National Assembly, but only 12 were considered, the most important being the County Allocation of Revenue Bill that allows the national government to allocate funds to the counties to cater for devolved functions.

The National Assembly failed to pass the two-thirds gender principle.

Article 81(b) of the Constitution states that, “Not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender.” But there has been no consensus on three proposals put forward to meet the requirement.

There were allegations that members of parliamentary committees investigating corruption cases and presiding over Bills that would affect big corporations were bribed to water down their reports. The allegations were never proven.

The National Assembly comprised 349 (+1) members: 290 representing constituencies; 47 woman representatives from the 47 counties; and 12 nominated by the political parties. The Speaker is elected from outside the House and is ex-officio member.

The Senate had 68 members: 47 elected from the 47 counties; 16 women members nominated by political parties, two nominated youth representatives; two representatives of people with disability and the Speaker, who is ex-officio.

Kenya has the least women representation with the East African Community, with only 21 per cent. Rwanda that has the highest women representation in the region, at 64 per cent.