11 January 2013

Kenya: Curtain Falls On 10th Parliament

THE 10th Parliament yesterday ended its session after enacting the most laws since the country's independence. The Parliamen has passed more than 180 bills since it was sworn-in in 2008.

The Parliament was to officially end its calendar by next week Monday. It is now waiting for the official dissolution by the President. Already some of the MPs have started campaigning for various seats.

By end of Monday, the MPs will not be allowed to transact any business within Parliament. They will not be allowed to address press conferences. The immunity that the MPs enjoyed during their tenure in the House will also end.

Unlike the members of the 10th Parliament, who could be appointed as the ministers, the 11th Parliament MPs will not be appointed. The leader of government Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said the 10th parliament MPs were the most hard working.

"The members of this House have worked until midnight to ensure crucial bills are passed," said the VP. "This spirit has hugely contributed to the changes that are taking place in Kenya." The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende was commended for his dedication to reform the Parliament.

"Our progress as a nation has been just that - progress. However, we must remain sober and aware that we must go much further than from where we have come. There is much more work to be done. Let us honour what we have gotten right even as we continue the great work of perfecting this nation", Kalonzo said.

The Mps said that it was during the term of the current speaker, live broadcast of the parliament proceedings was introduced and also ensuring that the standing orders were revised.

Nominated Mp Moses Sirma said that speaker "started the reform agenda of the country". "I want to thank you Mr Speaker sir for the good work you have done to this country in steering it towards development and reforms, you overlooked the passage of crucial bills that has brought about reforms in many public institutions", he said.

Turkana central Mp Ekwe Ethuro called on the out going mps to be "ambassadors' of peace" especially during this campaign period. Ramadhan Kajembe praised the speaker for fighting for independence of the parliament calendar. Previously, the executive dictated how the business of the house was conducted.

In 2008 Parliament passed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill and the National Accord and Reconciliation Bill which paved the way for power sharing between President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Also in 2008 parliament passed the National Cohesion and Integration Bill that created NCIC and the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Bill that established TJRC.

In 2009, Parliament passed the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. While in 2010, MPs passed 15 bills which included the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution Bill that created CIC. In 2011, Parliament passed the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill that established the vetting board for judicial officers.

Other important legislation enacted in 2011 include the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill which established IEBC, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission Bill that created the salaries commission and the Supreme Court Bill that established the Supreme Court, a court higher than the Court of Appeal.

Other notable bills passed in 2011 include the Elections Bill, the Political Parties Bill, National Police Service Commission Bill, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Bill, the Commission on Revenue Allocation Bill and the Unclaimed Financial Assets Bill.

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