Huge win for Uhuru, Raila as Senate passes Coalition Bill

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The Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has been passed in the Senate.

The Senate passed the Bill on Wednesday after the Handshake team trounced deputy president William Ruto’s allies in voting for the Bill.

Ruto senators were overshadowed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga’s allies since they managed to raise less than 10 members in voting against the Bill.

In a vote cast, the ayes team which is allied to the Handshake garnered 28 votes against nays’ 3 votes.

The Bill required a minimum of 24 elected senators to vote in support to have it sail through.

A well-mobilized team of the Azimio La Umoja, under Raila, managed to shoot down all the 15 amendments proposed by the Tangatanga camp.

The Speaker of the Senate Kenneth Lusaka is now expected to write to his National Assembly counterpart informing him of the development after which the Bill will be sent to President Uhuru for assent. 

Allies of the DP have been candid in opposing the Bill from the National Assembly but still, they could not marshall the majority numbers required to shoot it down.

Key among the issues of concerns raised by Tangatanga is the new roles of the Registrar of Parties that the Bill accords the office.

Ruto camp argues that the Bill strengthens the office of the Registrar in a manner that it usurps the powers of the IEBC in the management of party primaries, membership and register maintenance.

Led by former majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Ruto senators termed the Bill as “dictatorial” and unconstitutional.

“This Bill is terrible, hopeless and useless,” Murkomen as he warned his colleagues against passing the Bill.

“On the part where Registrar of Political Parties is being given more powers, I disagree entirely. Registrar has no business managing elections, these areas should be removed and deleted,” Murkomen added.

During the debate, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei found himself on the receiving end of verbal attacks after he claimed a report submitted by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, on the Bill, had been compromised.

“It looks like the committee was given something not touch anything,” Cherargei said.

The Handshake team fired back at Cherargei forcing Speaker Lusaka to direct the Nandi senator to tender an apology.

“I tender my apology, Mr Speaker. But I would wish to say that the fact that you are a senior, does not mean that you should undermine someone,” Cherargei noted.

The camp had earlier threatened to challenge the Bill in court in the event it sails through.

If they make good their threat, the team will be seeking an injunction that will block the Bill from being implemented once signed into law.

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