The National Assembly processed a record 50 private members Bills in a stormy sitting period that came to a close early this month, officials have said.
Leader of Majority Aden Duale said despite the numerous intricacies that hit both the Senate and National Assembly during its third session which ended on December 5, Parliament recorded an increase in the number of private members Bills .
Mr Duale said 171 Bills were introduced in the National Assembly out of which 68 were concluded. In the Senate, a total of 71 Bills were published and introduced in the House out of which eight were concluded by both Houses of Parliament and assented to.
“A total of 34 Bills were referred to the National Assembly for consideration and are yet to be concluded. And 22 Bills are pending consideration before the Senate. Four Bills were withdrawn to allow for further consultation with wider stakeholder engagement before reintroduction. Two Bills are pending before mediation committees,” Fatuma Dullo, the Senate Deputy Majority leader said.
She said a total of 93 Motions were filed in the Senate out of which 78 were debated and passed.
Mr Duale cited the protracted battle between the Assembly and the Senate over the passage of Division of Revenue Bill, 2019 and the approval of some persons to certain State offices as challenges that affected House business. The National Assembly and the Senate engaged in a lengthy dispute over the amount of money to be sent to 47 devolved units. While the Senate pushed for Sh335.7 billion as set by the Commission on Revenue Allocation, the National Assembly stuck to Sh316 billion, up from the Sh310 billion it had approved in an earlier Division of Revenue Bill.
The Senate latter beat a hasty retreat in the dispute with the National Assembly over the equitable shareable revenue between the National government and the 47 county governments and took the Sh316.5 billion as proposed by the Assembly.
“Despite these hiccups, the House and its committees was also able to consider and pass several crucial Bills including the Division of Revenue Bill and other budget-related Bills such as the Petroleum Bill, the Energy Bill, the Data Protection Bill and the Statistics (Amendment) Bill,” he said.
The Garissa Township MP said several committee reports and Motions on diverse matters including the Privatisation of Kenya Airways, the ratification of several international trade treaties and conventions and the appointment of ambassadors, high commissioners and members to various commissions and independent offices were also passed.
“We also marked some milestones which include the translation of our Standing Orders to Kiswahili and the inaugural forum for committees.
“Upon resumption from recess on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, we will continue with any business that has not been concluded this year,” he said and wish all MPs a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2020.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said House rules require that a Bill that has been published, read a First Time or in respect of which the Second Reading has not been concluded at the end of a Session in which it was published shall not lapse.
“However, a Bill not concluded at the end of two consecutive Sessions shall lapse at the end of the second Session,” he said.
He said a total of 70 petitions were received from members of the public out of which 23 were concluded, 46 are pending before the various committees, while one lapsed. House committees will continue with processing the petitions in the Fourth Session.