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Kenya’s President Signs Appropriations Bill Subject to Adjusted Supplementary Budget

The assent was subject to the adjusted supplementary budget to ensure expenditure on critical services.

Kenya’s President William Ruto has signed the Appropriations Bill into law.

The assent was subject to the adjusted supplementary budget to ensure expenditure on critical services.

This follows the rejection of the Finance Bill 2024 after countrywide demonstrations.

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In response to public outcry, President Ruto withdrew the Finance Bill 2024, stating that it would be shelved to allow for dialogue and a collective approach to financing the current budget. Despite this decision, protests continued.

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This decision, unprecedented since independence, means the nation will operate under the Finance Act 2023 starting July 1, 2024, to finance the Sh3.9 trillion budget for the upcoming financial year.

The Finance Bill 2024 had already completed its legislative process in the National Assembly, securing a simple majority in its third reading, the final stage in the legislative house.

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At the committee of the whole house, it passed with 195 Members of Parliament voting in its support. This outcome sparked widespread violence during demonstrations, resulting in over 20 deaths, 300 injuries, and more than 50 arrests.

The bill’s passage followed the adoption of proposed amendments that had elicited countrywide protests. During the session, 106 legislators voted to reject the bill. The house leadership, led by Speaker Moses Wetangula and comprising National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwa, Finance Committee Chair Kimani Kuria, and Clerk of the National Assembly Samuel Njoroge, was expected to present the Finance Bill to the President for assent.

According to the constitution’s procedures for enacting legislation, President Ruto can either assent to the bill as it is or refer it back to parliament with amendments within fourteen days. Given the public uproar, President Ruto has chosen not to assent to the Finance Bill and will refer it back to Parliament with his reservations, proposing the deletion of all contentious clauses.

Once referred back, the National Assembly will consider the bill, focusing on the President’s reservations. The house can pass the bill a second time with a simple majority supporting the President’s reservations. However, if the MPs seek to override the President’s reservations, they will need a two-thirds majority of the house.

With the MPs commencing their recess until July 23, Speaker Moses Wetangula will need to gazette a special sitting for the consideration of the President’s memorandum.

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