MPs risk losing mortgages as Senate drags feet on bill

Thursday, April 25th, 2024 08:00 | By
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi. PHOTO/@MusaliaMudavadi/X

Members of Parliament risk losing out on accessing mortgage facilities if Senators fail to pass a Bill before the Senate. The controversy that surrounds the Statutory Instruments (Amendment) Bill 2024, which was passed by the National Assembly but delayed by the Senate will lead to  MPs failing to access their mortgages.

The Bill seeks to annul section 21 of the Statutory Instruments Act of 2013, which states that statutory instruments are automatically revoked 10 years after their making unless “a sooner expiry date is provided or if such regulation is made exempting it from expiry.”

Statutory regulations mean the process of checking by the government organisation that a business is following official rules. The MPs voted for the Statutory Instruments (Exemption from Expiry) Regulations 2022 to shield the 1,764 pieces of regulation that were set to expire eight years ago. However, this required the concurrence of the Senate.

The 1,764 statutory instruments have since lapsed meaning that some of the payments made to government institutions are illegal.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi told the Senate that MPs were at risk of losing out their mortgage if the nomaly is not rectified.

In a document tabled before the Delegated Legislation of the Senate, Mudavadi also warned that the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital risk winding up over the delay in passing the instruments that guide them. Further, payments to the two institutions are deemed illegal as they are operating on an expired piece of law.

 these regulations that have lapsed include legal notice No. 67 of 2013 which establishes the Public Finance Management (Parliamentary Mortgage, Members, Scheme Fund) Regulations through which MPs and Senators access cheaper mortgage facilities, and legal notice No. 109 of 1987 that establishes Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

Revoking the regulations

Mudavadi says that the impact of revoking the regulations is “wide, immediate and the effects irreversible.” He says: “Without the statutory instruments, it would not only paralyze the operations of the three arms of government but there is also a serious risk of possible violation of fundamental rights and freedoms of Kenyans,” he told the MPs.

“It is indeed obvious that the lapsing of the statutory instruments would have far-reaching effects on the public and as the representatives of the people, we have the solemn duty to provide solutions in seeking to protect the people of Kenya,” he added. If not regulated, MPs will cease enjoying their mortgage at 3 per cent but will pay the current lending interest of 12 per cent.

According to Mudavadi, the expiry of the legal notice establishing the hospital would hamper admittance to referral services including treatment of cancer and other major illnesses.

The Bill was passed by the National Assembly on March 21, 2024, and sent to the Senate for consideration before being returned to the National Assembly for concurrence and eventual transmission to the president for assent.

“The ball is now in the Senate’s court to resolve the ensuing issues on the statutory instruments through the Bill and avert the far-reaching effects that the automatic revocation of the instruments would have not just on the national and county governments but the people,” said Mudavadi.

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