MPs term ends today as Houses trade accusations

Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro. (Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard)

The term of the first House of Senate under the 2010 constitution comes to an end today.

This comes with the Senate leadership accusing the National Assembly of frustrating their legislative agenda.

Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro Wednesday led his charges in accusing the National Assembly members of failing to consider the bulk of Bills passed by the Senate.

At the centre of contention is 30 Bills passed by the senators but not approved by the National Assembly, meaning they technically died.

The two Houses adjourn today in readiness for the General Election, bringing to an end the 11th Parliament, amid frosty relations and with Mr Ethuro saying the National Assembly must be held responsible for killing a majority of Bills passed by the Senate.

Passing the back

“The National Assembly must be singularly held responsible. While we ensured Bills coming to our House from them were prioritised, they appeared determined to ensure the proposed laws from our House were not considered. Now, we have 30 Bills, good pieces of legislation that will just die due to this gesture,” said Ethuro.

But in a swift counter-attack, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale accused the Senate of sitting on crucial Government Bills, some of them constitutional that required to be passed within the life of the current Parliament.

He said while he ensured all Government Bills from the Senate were passed by the the lower House, the Senate will be adjourning before considering close to 10 Government Bills.

“They are still holding onto the Energy, Petroleum Exploitation, Health, Roads and Physical Planning Bills. All these are constitutional Bills from the Government and a similar number in private members Bills. What they are complaining we are holding are small Bills by private members,” said Duale.

From Senate’s statistics, of the 42 Bills sent to the National Assembly for concurrence, only 12 have been successfully considered. Four of the Bills are the mandatory County Allocation of Revenue Bills, which allocate funds to county governments.

Passed Bills

On contrast, the Senate has considered and passed 37 of the 52 pieces of legislation passed to them from the National Assembly, with the remaining 15 in different stages of legislation.

Overall, the Senate has published 86 Bills in the four-and-a-half years of the 11th Parliament, with 51 Bills now at risk of being lost after today when the calendar of the House comes to an end, as they are in different stages of being passed.

With the requirement being that Bills from the House must be sent to the National Assembly for concurrence, there is no recourse for the pending work even as the lower House breaks today.

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