National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has called on civil societies to give members of Parliament ample time to pass constitutional bills.
The Speaker defended the National Assembly’s record in the upholding and implementation of the Constitution.
Speaking at St Anthony’s Catholic Church in Meru Town, Mr Muturi maintained that Parliament is not to blame for delays in meeting the constitutional timelines.
He said the move by MPs to seek an extension of the timeline was valid as the House was not ready to pass shoddy laws.
“We have seen the 10th Parliament passing laws that have had to be reviewed because they were rushed at the tail end of the term.
“The Constitution is very tough on Parliament yet most of the Bills that are late do not emanate from the National Assembly,” Mr Muturi insisted.
MORE TIME NEEDED
He said more time is needed so that Parliament can engage the public as per the Constitution.
Mr Muturi said the same groups pushing Parliament to rush the Bills would be the first to move to court protesting against faulty laws.
“We are subjected to a lot of pressure which would lead to passing of Bills that are not well prepared and debated by the public who are the strongest beneficiaries of the laws we pass,” he said.
He added that the Attorney-General and other state agencies are supposed to generate Bills and should be held accountable for delays.
“Everyone is pointing fingers at Parliament but the Attorney-General and other State agencies have not generated the Bills to the assembly for discussion and amendments.
I received some Bills from the executive on Monday which I am told they should be passed by Thursday. How is that possible?” he posed.
He cited Bills aimed at legislating on land matters as some that require ample time to prepare through proper public participation.
“Land issues are leading many Kenyans to death and such Bills cannot be passed within seven days.
“The main reason we fought for our independence was because of land and if we need a better Kenya we must allow for consultation of all stakeholders especially the public,” he added.
He was accompanied by Meru County Woman Representative Florence Kajuju, her Nandi counterpart Zipporah Kering, Imenti Central MP Mwiti Irea and Rahim Dawood (North Imenti).