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Why MPs won't vote for Finance Bill 2024 on Tuesday

Anti-riot police officers have been deployed around the precincts of Parliament in anticipation of the protest

National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee Chairperson Kimani Kuria
  • The Finance Bill, 2024, is set for its second reading in Kenya's Parliament
  • Kenyans are organizing a protest against sections of the bill and urging MPs to reject problematic proposals
  • The bill will undergo a rigorous legislative process including a second reading, committee stage, and third reading before being presented to the President for assent

The Finance Bill, 2024, is set to come up for its second reading on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, the bill will be tabled in Parliament but that is only the initial stages of Kenya's legislative process and no voting takes place.

Kenyans have organised a protest march outside Parliament on to express their displeasure with sections of the Finance Bill 2024 and to implore MPs to reject the problematic proposals.

Anti-riot police officers have already been deployed around the precincts of Parliament.

The calls for protests have been gaining momentum following a mobilisation of Kenyans on the digital space.

Nairobi Region Police Commander Adamson Bungei has dismissed any plans to organise protests in Nairobi today.

He claimed that no one applied for the required permit for a gathering or picketing. However, the organisers argue that the police were given notice of the protest in advance.

President William Ruto called for a Parliamentary Group Meeting at State House on Tuesday morning, where the National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee Chairperson Kimani Kuria briefed MPs of the contents of the bill.

The committee has come up with the finalised proposal after retreating to consider views and opinions collected during the public participation stage.

Second Reading

On Wednesday morning, the Finance Bill, 2024, will enter the second reading phase. During this stage, the Finance Committee will table its report, summarising the findings and recommendations from the public participation process.

Members of the National Assembly will engage in a robust debate, discussing the bill's principles and general merits.

The second reading is a critical juncture where the bill's core ideas are thoroughly examined, and members voice their support or concerns.

At the end of debate on the second reading, a vote is taken by the house, and if the motion is passed, the bill proceeds to the Committee Stage.

If the bill is passed at the conclusion of this stage, any MP wishing to introduce amendments may submit their proposals to the clerk at least 24 hours before the commencement of the sitting at which the part of the Bill is to be considered in committee.

This is to afford sufficient time for processing and approval by the speaker for consideration of the amendments in the committee of the whole house.

Following a successful second reading, the Finance Bill 2024 will proceed to the Committee of the Whole House.

This stage involves a clause-by-clause examination of the bill.

Members propose amendments, scrutinise each provision in detail, and vote on the changes.

This meticulous review ensures that every aspect of the bill is carefully considered and refined.

After the Committee of the Whole House stage, the bill moves to its third reading. This phase is typically brief, with members focusing on the final version of the bill.

Debates are limited to the contents of the bill as amended. A vote is then taken, and if the bill passes, it is transmitted to the president for assent.

Once Parliament passes the bill in its final form, it is presented to the President for assent.

President Ruto is expected to assent to the bill, after which the different proposals are effected.

As the Finance Bill, 2024, approaches its second reading, Kenyans can expect rigorous debates and discussions on its proposed fiscal policies.

The legislative process in Kenya is designed to ensure that bills undergo thorough scrutiny and incorporate public input, reflecting the democratic values of transparency and accountability.

As the Finance Bill, 2024, navigates this intricate process, its progress will be closely monitored by all stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of fostering economic stability and prosperity for the nation.

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