President Uhuru Kenyatta today at State House, Nairobi, signed nine Bills, six of which meet constitutional deadlines, into law.
The Bills signed into law are the Controller of Budget Bill, the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Bill, the Access to Information Bill, the Kenya National Examination Council (Amendment) Bill, the Community Land Bill, the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions Bill, the Forest Conservation and Management Bill, the Lands Laws Bill and the Seeds and Plant Varieties (Amendment) Act.
The Controller of Budget Act gives effect to the provisions of Articles 225, 228 and 252 of the Constitution regarding the functions of the Office of the Controller of Budget and for connected purposes.
The Access to Information Act gives effect to Article 35 of the Constitution, giving the Commission on Administrative Justice a number of oversight and enforcement functions, and the powers required to employ them.
The new law allows the public to seek information from government, and obliges public servants to provide that information, on pain of fines or jail terms.
The Community Land Act gives effect to Article 63(5) of the Constitution, and protects community land rights, while strengthening county governments’ efforts to regulate the lands themselves. In particular, the Act will ensure that all community land currently held in trust by county governments will be registered.
The Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Act provides for the protection and promotion of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, giving effect to Articles 11, 40 and 69(1)(c) of the Constitution. It closes loopholes that had led to the misappropriation, misuse and unlawful exploitation of Kenyan arts and craft, music and design.
The Land Laws Act amends the laws relating to land, aligns them with the Constitution, give effect to Articles 68(c),(i) and 67 (2)(e) of the Constitution, and provides for procedures governing evictions from land.
The Bills were presented to the President for his signature by Solicitor General Njee Muturi.