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Full in-tray as MPs resume sittings



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The National Assembly resumes its sittings on Tuesday after a two-week break to a full in-tray before the start of their long recess in May.

In the next three weeks, the House has to conclude on five Bills that were sent to mediation committees for review after MPs rejected several of the Senate’s amendments, the budget estimates, the proposed amendments to the IEBC Act, among others.

The Sh2.81 trillion budget estimates for the 2019/20 financial year are due to be presented to Parliament on Thursday this week together with the Finance Bill.

The Public Finance Management Act provides that the budget estimates and the Finance Bill be tabled by April 28 every financial year.

However, it seems unlikely that the MPs will have concluded on the budget process before their recess.

Once tabled, the law requires that the budget estimates be referred to respective departmental committees which will present their considerations to the Budget and Appropriations Committee before being returns to the House for approval.

The five Bills to be considered by the parliamentary teams are the Land Value Index Laws (Amendment) Bill, Physical Planning Bill, Irrigation Bill, Warehouse Receipt System Bill and Kenya Roads Bill.

The Land Bill seeks to harmonise land compensation to check payout of highly inflated figures courtesy of corrupt public officers and businesspeople.

In the Roads Bill, Senate had introduced amendments to allow senators sit in the constituency road development committees, a move that was rejected by their National Assembly colleagues.

The Physical Planning Bill risks dissolution proceedings in court should Parliament fail to pass it. According to the 2010 constitution implementation guideline, the Bill was to have become law within the first five years.

The Warehouse Receipt System Bill (Senate Bill No. 10 of 2017) and the Irrigation Bill have vital budgetary implications on the 2018/19, budget which is now in its fourth quarter. Further delays in passing the two Bills will see the government lose about Sh20 billion should financiers of the medium-term plans seek a legal framework before they can release funds.

The Bills will be reviewed by joint parliamentary committees. The National Assembly has already named members to the committees who will be joined by their Senate counterparts.

MPs to review the Roads Bill are the Majority Leader Aden Duale (Garissa Township), Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Cecily Mbarire (nominated) David Pkosing (Pokot South) and Thomas Kajwang’ (Ruaraka).

The Warehouse Receipt System Bill has Mr Duale, Robert Mbui (Kathiani), Adan Haji (Mandera South), John Mutunga (Tigania West) and Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza).

Mr Duale, Minority Leader John Mbadi (Suba South), Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South), Caleb Kositany (Soy) and Mishi Mboko (Likoni) sit in the committees on Land Value Index Laws (Amendment) and Physical Planning Bills.

The committee on Irrigation bill has Mr Duale, Dr Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini), Josephat Kabinga (Mwea), Dr Daniel Kamuren (Mogotio) and Florence Mutua (Busia Woman MP).

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