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Government Printer revokes contentious Bill allocating Sh15 billion to NMS

Government Printer Mwenda Njoka has finally revoked the contentious Nairobi City County Supplementary Appropriations Act, 2020.

In a Gazette Notice dated May 11, 2020, Mr Njoka annulled the Act that had effected into law the contested Bill that had allocated Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) Sh15 billion for transferred functions.

UNLAWFUL

“It is notified for the general information of the public that the Government Printer has revoked the Kenya Gazette Supplement No.2 (Nairobi City County Act No.1) dated the April 27, 2020, which published the purported Nairobi City County Supplementary Appropriations Act, 2020,” said Mr Njoka.

The move to de-gazette the Act followed a directive by Solicitor General Ken Ogeto, who on Friday last week in a legal advisory to Mr Njoka, called for the revocation of the publication of the Act on April 27, 2020 was irregular and unlawful.

He said it was inconceivable for the Bill to have been published when it was still pending before the County Assembly as the said Bill was not assented to in either of the ways contemplated by the law rendering the Act unlawful.

This was after Governor Mike Sonko had written to Mr Ogeto to direct the Government Printer to nullify the purported Act through a corrigendum arguing that the Bill was published in contravention of the law and therefore does not have a force of law.

The Bill was passed by the Assembly on April 2, 2020 but Governor Sonko declined to assent to it accusing the MCAs of allocating funds to functions that were not transferred to the NMS.

SPECIAL SITTING

He returned the Bill with reservations back to the Assembly on April 15, 2020 but Speaker Beatrice Elachi, during a special sitting of the Assembly on April 17, 2020, set aside Mr Sonko’s memorandum sending back the original Bill for his assent.

The Bill was later published on April 27, 2020 after the expiry of the seven days as provided for by the law.

Nevertheless, Governor Sonko contested how his Memorandum was set aside by the Speaker saying that it was not debated by the Assembly and voted upon by the required two-thirds majority.

Speaker Elachi, however, maintained that her ruling was informed by Standing Orders 146(4) that gives her the latitude to rule on the memorandum without subjecting it to relevant committee of the House for voting as it raised Constitutional matters that can only be determined by the court.

But the solicitor general argued that a County Assembly Standing Orders cannot be used to sidestep mandatory requirements of an Act of Parliament.