MPs give themselves high marks as House dissolved
National Assembly on Thursday adjourned indefinitely (sine die) with a majority of members insisting that the 12th Parliament had performed well. Sine die is the term used among Commonwealth parliaments when there is no definite date for the next sitting.
Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, who had worn the ceremonial attire and a wig unlike in other sessions told the members that following the adjournment of the House, all the pending business that had not been transacted had died.
“You members passed a motion that the adjournment motion sine die be discussed for four hours and now with that, all the pending business has collapsed,” he said.
And immediately after he was done, Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya, who moved the adjournment motion, told the lawmakers to be prepared to be recalled back to pass the County Government’s Grants bill, currently being considered by the Senate and the Huduma Bill that collapsed because of technicalities. Muturi was expected to rule on the constitutionality of the Huduma bill after Garissa Town MP Aden Duale raised questions regarding its constitutionality.
“Even as we adjourn, we are still Members of Parliament until August 8. There is a proposal for additional revenue to county governments, should that Bill be passed, we shall still recall you to give the money to counties. Even this Huduma bill that fell because of technicality, we can recall you to pass it,” he said.
Kimunya, who thanked the members for their exemplary performance gave the House a scorecard of its performance for the last five years. He revealed that during its five-year tenure, theNational Assembly has passed more than 140 Bills out of the 342 that have been introduced with about 114 having assented into law while 26 others are currently being processed in the Senate.
Some of the bills assented to include: The Waqf Bill 2017, the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Bill, 2017, The Physical Planning and Land Use Bill, 2017, the Petroleum Bill, 2017, the Irrigation Bill, 2017, and the Energy Bill, 2017. Others are the Nuclear Regulatory Bill, 2017, the Parliamentary Service Bill, 2018, the County Governments Retirement Benefits Scheme Bill, 2018, the Data Protection Bill, 2019, the Warehouse Receipt System Bill, 2017, the National Youth Service Bill, 2018 and the County Governments Additional Allocations Bill 2021.
However, some of the legislation that were passed later became the subject of protracted court cases after Senate moved to court challenging 23 Bills passed by National Assembly without their involvement.
“Over the term of the 12th Parliament, the National Assembly has passed over 140 Bills out of the 342 that have been introduced….This is certainly an incredible achievement considering that the House still has motions to consider, petitions and important business,”Kimunya said.
Moment of reflection
In the same period, the 12th Parliament also considered and approved the appointment of various persons to hold important offices of government, including vetting and confirming the appointment of the First Female Chief Justice Martha Koome, considering the appointment of more than60 ambassadors and High Commissioners and Cabinet Secretaries.
“Today is not the same as all other days, it is a moment of reflection where we look back as a House and pat ourselves on the back for the achievements we have recorded for the last five years as we head to the general elections.”
The 12th Parliament also had the highest number of lawmakers who passed on including Francis Nyenze (Kitui West), Grace Kipchoim (Baringo South), Ken Okoth, (Kibra), Suleiman Dori Ramadhan (Msambweni), Justus Murunga (Matungu), James Lusweti, (Kabuchai), Francis Munyua Waititu (Juja), John Oroo Oyioka (Bonchari), Victor Prengei (Nominated Senator), Paul Koinange (Kiambaa), William Kamoti (Rabai), and senators Boniface Kabaka (Machakos ) and Yusuf Haji ( Garissa). Former Leader of Majority Aden Duale thanked his constituents for electing him irrespective of their political affiliations.
He said: “It has been 15 years of representation in three different parties and this has been great. I want to thank President Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga as they have contributed to my political career development,” he said.
Kibwezi East MP Jessica Mbalu thanked Muturi for steering the House well. Mbalu, who serves on the Speakers Panel, said she learned a lot during her tenure even as she asked her constituents to re-elect her. Kinangop MP Kwenya Thuku said during the five years he has been in office, he has been able to initiate development projects never witnessed before in his constituency.
“Mr Speaker, I have been able to learn a lot, including the traditions of this House. I want to thank you Mr Speaker for guiding us and showing us the way, I was also able to serve in three powerful committees including Health, Public Investments Committee and Defence committees,” he said, Kuresoi North MP Moses Cheboi told Muturi should he be elected as Speaker in the 13thParliament, he should be prepared to deal with a huge number of independent legislators who will be elected in the August 9, General Election.