Wetang’ula conveys Ruto proposals to committees

Written by on 15 December 2022

Three House committees have been directed to consider President William Ruto’s proposals to amend the Constitution and the Standing Orders following his memorandum to Parliament two days ago.

Speaker Moses Wetang’ula in a letter to lawmakers who are currently on recess, directed the Justice and Legal Affairs committee (JLAC), the Joint Parliamentary ad hoc committee on proposals to amend the Constitution to entrench certain specialised funds and Procedure and House rule Committee to undertake necessary public participation as required under Article 118 of the Constitution and submit reports on the same to the House.

 Wetang’ula said his decision to refer the said matters to the committees despite Parliament not being in session is based on Standing Order 42(2) which provides that if a message is received from the President at a time when the House is not in session, the Speaker shall forthwith transmit it to every member and report the said message to the House on the next sitting.

Actualising Kenya’s aspirations

 “It is, therefore, notified to all members of the National Assembly that on December 9, 2022, I received a message from the President on various proposals to amend the Constitution and the Standing Orders to actualise the aspirations of Kenyans through gender inclusion and affirmative action, the establishment of the Constituency Development Senate Oversight and National Affirmative Action Funds, Establishment of the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition and strengthening of parliamentary oversight of the Executive,” said Wetang’ula.

 He told the lawmakers that upon resumption of the house in February, he shall facilitate general debate on the said proposals and thus directed the clerk of the National Assembly Samuel Njoroge to transmit the said notification and Ruto’s message to all the members and publish the same to the parliamentary website.

“That the committees are required to consider the message of the President with respect to the request to consider amending the standing orders to strengthen parliamentary oversight of the executive,” said Wetang’ula.

According to Wetangula’s communication, the JLAC committee will consider the two-thirds Gender Rule and the Establishment of the Leader of Official Opposition, and the Procedure and House Rules Committee will consider the Standing orders in a bid to strengthen the Parliamentary Oversight of the Executive.

The Joint Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on proposals to amend the Constitution to entrench certain specialised funds will consider the establishment of the Constituency Development Oversight Fund and the National Government Actions Fund.

Re-introduce BBI

 The decision of the speaker comes just hours after Azimio La Umoja leader Raila Odinga rejected Ruto’s memorandum saying it is puzzling to him and to many Kenyans as it seeks to re-introduce the same matters that had for many months been suggested by the Building Bridges Initiative, which he opposed in the years 2018 to 2021.

 “I find it puzzling because the memorandum presents these proposals without any recognition that the BBI reports, which are official government documents, contain all these proposals coupled with the rationale why these suggestions had been found to be necessary by the people of Kenya who participated in the process,” said Raila.

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