Senate passes Political Parties Amendment Bill, President Kenyatta to sign it into law
President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to sign into law the Political Parties Amendment Bill after the Senate passed the bill without any amendments.
This is despite a spirited effort by United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leaning Senators who proposed 15 amendments to the bill but they were all shot down by the handshake leaning Senators.
Senators Irungu Kang'áta (Murang'a), Petronila Were (Nominated), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), Enoch Wambua (Kitui), Samson Cheragei (Nandi) and Isaac Mwaura (Nominated) were some of the lawmakers who filed amendments to the bill.
Kang’ata sought to have clause 22 that provides for methods of conducting party primaries deleted. The clause provides for direct and indirect nominations
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei also had similar proposed amendments by seeking to expunge requirement that only registered party members can participate in a nomination.
Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, an ally of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, dropped his proposed amendments. He had sought to amend clause seven of the bill that has exempted accounts of political parties from being audited.
However, President Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga had the final laugh when 28 Senators voted to support the bill with only 3 dissenting.
The grand plan by the handshake partners is to have law that will allow political parties to field candidates jointly across the country under a coalition party.
DP Ruto allies had staged a spirited fight against the bill describing it as a tool designed for selfish political interests.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen described the bill as “terrible, hopeless and useless” while warning his colleagues from the rival camp that they will be the first victims of the law.
“The elections under the Constitution, is a function of IEBC, unfortunately, because some people want to micromanage political parties, they have given RPP the responsibility to manage political parties in terms of verifying registers and giving specific timelines,” protested Murkomen.
Similar opposition came from Senator Cherargei who accused the Senate Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights of allegedly being influenced by external forces in writing its reports.
After the passage of the bill, Cherargei said they would be moving to the courts exuding confidence that the court will strike out the bill that he termed as unconstitutional.