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Finance Bill drama, sugar bribery dominate Parliament’s 2018 chronicles

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The year 2018 was an interesting one for the 12th August House.

Key to note was the activities which unfolded when Parliament passed amendments to the Finance Act which ushered high fuel prices. 

The House was also awash with claims of open bribery in the sugar probe. This saw male MPs visiting ladies’ toilets to ascertain the truth on the claims.

In July 2017, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi warned MPs against misconduct during committee sessions.

This followed claims of bribery and concerns by Majority Leader Aden Duale that their conduct is inappropriate.

MPs had been accused of jumping into matters under probe, either by the EACC or the DCI, with the aim of seeking favours.

Read: We deserve to be called MPigs, Mbadi says after Duale raps MPs

See: Muturi cracks whip to cleanse committees of bribery claims

On sugar, MPs ganged up to trash a committee report that had implicated Cabinet secretaries Henry Rotich (Treasury), Adan Mohamed (EAC), and former Agriculture CS Willy Bett. 

 In the most ignoble scene yet, lawmakers were seen openly scrambling for Sh30,000 which was allegedly dished out minutes before an afternoon sitting so that members shoot down the report.

Read: Naked bribery in the House as MPs reject sugar report

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the DCI were called to investigate the claims that some lawmakers were bribed to shoot down a report on contraband sugar.

The National Assembly’s Powers and Privileges Committee led by Speaker Justin Muturi concluded that MPs might have been bribed.

The committee said it reviewed videos and newspaper reports about the bribery claims. The team also listened to witnesses and scrutinised evidence presented.

Read: MPs ask DCI to investigate sugar report bribery claims

Also See: MPs to visit women’s toilet as they probe bribery claims

On Finance Act, Majority leader Aden Duale and his Minority counterpart John Mbadi colluded to trick members to pass the controversial legislation that would introduce tax on fuel, data bundles, among other commodities.

President Uhuru Kenyatta had rejected the Finance Bill, 2018, which would have seen the 16 per cent tax on petroleum products shelved until 2020.

The contentious Bill was finally adopted by Parliament due to shrewd moves by Duale and those who were allied to the plan. 

Sensing that members were preparing to shoot down the Bill, the speaker of the day Soipan Tuya ingeniously ordered a fresh vote before Duale chipped in with a cunning move to rally MPs out of the chamber.

At least 233 MPs were required to vote against the bill to shoot it down. Duale ensured there was a lack of quorum.

The House leaders had been asked by President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure the Bill was passed in an arduous test on their leadership. 

The stakes were high as the President had planned to sign the Bill into law on Friday, before leaving for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

The burden was on the House leadership to execute the mission. Uhuru assented to the Bill on Friday morning. Aware of the acid test he was facing, Duale used strong-arm tactics to push the Bill through.

Aware of the pressure from the anti-VAT brigade, Duale hatched a plot to deny the opponents the requisite two-thirds majority necessary to overturn the President’s reservations.

Immediately, temporary speaker Soipan Tuya called for division, Duale signalled some of the backers of the Bill to walk out of the chambers. A count afterwards showed there were only 215 lawmakers in the House.

Read: How Muturi, Duale tricks helped Uhuru Finance Bill to pass

Read: Chaos as MPs lose fight against fuel tax

Also See:Uhuru remains silent on contentious fuel tax in first public appearance

Despite all these chronicles, below is a glimpse of the Bills which were passed by MPs in 2018. 

Bill passed and Assented to

 

  • The Division of Revenue Bill, 2018;
  • The Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2018;
  • The Equalization Fund Appropriation Bill, 2018;
  • The Public Trustee (Amendment) Bill, 2017;
  • The Kenya Coast Guard Service Bill, 2017;
  • The Finance Bill, 2018;
  • The Supplementary Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2018;
  • The Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Bill, 2017;
  • The Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018;
  • The Appropriation Bill, 2018;
  • The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 3) Bill, 2017 (NA Bill No. 44 of 2017).

 

Passed and awaiting assent

 

  • The Building Surveyors Bill, 2017;
  • The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill (NA. No. 12 of 2018);
  • The Sacco Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (NA Bill No. 18 of 2018);
  • The Health Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018;
  • The Capital Markets (Amendment) Bill, 2018;
  • The National Youth Service Bill, 2018.

 

Passed and forwarded to Senate

 

  • The Energy Bill, 2017;
  • The Petroleum Bill, 2017;
  • The County Allocation of Revenue Bill, 2018;
  • The Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2017;
  • The Public Private Partnerships (Amendment) Bill, 2017;
  • The Land Value Index Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018;
  • The Division of Revenue (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (Sen. Bill No. 14 of 2018);
  • The Irrigation Bill, 2017;
  • The Physical Planning Bill, 2017;
  • The County Allocation of Revenue (Amendment) Bill, 2017;
  • The Kenya Roads Bill (NA Bill No. 47 of 2017);
  • The County Governments Retirement Scheme Bill, 2018 (NA Bill No. 10 of 2018);
  • The Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill (Sen. Bill No. 4 of 2017);
  • The Government Contracts Bill, 2018;
  • The Warehouse Receipt System Bill, 2017 (Sen. Bill No. 10 of 2017);
  • The Assumption of Office of the County Governor Bill, 2018 (Sen. Bill No. 1 of 2018);
  • The County Allocation of Revenue (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

 

Awaiting committee stage

  • The County Governments (Amendments) Bill (Sen. No.11 of 2017);
  • The Parliamentary Service Bill, 2018.

Undergoing second reading

 

  • The Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill, 2017;
  • The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (NA Bill No. 4 of 2018);
  • The Sacco Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (NA Bill No. 1 of 2018);
  • The Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) Bill, 2018;
  • The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 2) Bill (NA. No. 13 of 2018);
  • The Kenya Accreditation Service Bill, 2018;
  • The Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2018;
  • The County Governments (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017 (Sen. Bill No. 7 of 2017);
  • The National Flag, Emblems and Names (Amendment) Bill, (Sen. Bill No. 8 of 2017);
  • The Warehouse Receipt System Bill, 2018 (NA. No. 2 of 2018);
  • The Sports (Amendment) Bill (NA Bill No. 25 of 2018);
  • The County Governments (Revenue Raising Process) Bill (NA Bill No. 24 of 2018);
  • The Office of the County Attorney Bill, 2018 (Sen. No. 3 of 2018);
  • The County Statistics Bill, 2018 (Sen. Bill No. 9 of 2018);
  • The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (Sen. Bill No. 12 of 2018);
  • The Nuclear Regulatory Bill, 2018.

 

Bills lost

  • The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2018
  • The County Pension Scheme Bill, 2017

Bills withdrawn

 

  • The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 2) Bill, 2017;
  • The Energy Bill, 2017;
  • The Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2017;
  • The Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority Bill, 2017.

 

Lapsed Bills

  • The Election Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2017



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