The canceled parliamentary special sitting that was scheduled for Wednesday, July 13, will derail, among other bills, the ratification of the Kenya and the United Kingdom’s military cooperation deal that was signed in 2021.
The cancellation of the sitting leaves the process of ratifying the deal between the two countries hanging in the balance after it emerged that the National Assembly Defense Committee had planned to table its report during the session.
Members of the Committee raised concerns on the possibility of the bill hitting a dead end in the event that another sitting is not called before August 8.
Members of Parliament during a session in the 12 th parliament
KBC The Standing Orders state that a report has to be tabled promptly upon adoption, failure to which the process starts afresh and hence incurring additional costs.
”It will be unfortunate if we won’t meet and ratify the agreement. Those asking why we are in a hurry should think about the process and resources used,” Charles Kilonzo, Yatta Member of Parliament, told Nation Africa.
The committee had committed resources and time to develop the report. Among the costs incurred include advertising the bill and public participation.
The committee also facilitated a trip for six of its members to the UK in June to conduct business related to the defense cooperation agreement.
Stalling the agreement would also put Kenya in an awkward situation where it will be forced to send the UK soldiers based in Nanyuki out of the country.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2021 signed an agreement with the UK to extend the training agreement for the British soldiers in Kenya. The agreement has, nonetheless, to be ratified by the National Assembly.
National Assembly Speaker, Justin Bedan Njoka Muturi, on Tuesday, July 12, announced the cancellation of the special sitting citing lack of a gazette notice. Muturi blamed the government printer for not including the notice in the gazette hence leaving the fate of crucial bills hanging on the line.
Parliament is currently in recess after it adjourned indefinitely in May to allow members seeking elective seats to campaign.
A file image of President Uhuru Kenyatta(left) and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson(right) dead