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Ruto’s Triumph: Affordable Housing Bill Clears Key Hurdle

Ruto’s Triumph: Affordable Housing Bill Clears Key Hurdle

President William Ruto on Tuesday scored the first win in his quest to sustain funding for his affordable housing program after the new bill passed the second reading in Parliament.

After split voting, 141 MPs cast their ballot in favor of the bill against 58 who opposed it.

“I now wish to announce the voting to the House. In a division on the second reading of the Affordable Housing Bill, 2023, the results are as follows; the ayes 141, the nays 58; total votes 199, abstentions nil, so the ayes have it,” Speaker Moses Wetang’ula said.

“Before we conclude this, I want first to thank all members for your decorum. Apart from the errant member for Budalangi, the rest of the members observed absolute decorum,” the Speaker added.

The Bill will now go into the third reading during Wednesday’s session and if endorsed by two-thirds of the members present, it will pass and await its presentation to the Senate.

Leader of Majority Kimani Ichung’wah on Monday assured President Ruto that the Kenya Kwanza side will use its numerical advantage in the House to ensure the bill is passed.

“We should be able to conclude that business tomorrow (Tuesday), hopefully on Wednesday afternoon we get into third reading…and be able to process the bill forward to the Senate so that they can advertise it by Friday, do the public participate and be able to get a new Affordable Housing Bill before the next payroll,” he said.

“Usually, many corporations both private and public process their payrolls after the 15th of the month, so we hope by the 15th of March, your Excellency, you will have assented to the new Affordable Housing Bill,” he added.

He was speaking at the start of a Cabinet retreat with the Kenya Kwanza Parliamentary group in Naivasha on Monday.

The new bill was introduced to the House after the courts twice declared the 1.5 percent Housing Levy which is meant to finance Ruto’s Affordable Housing Project unconstitutional.

Judges said the levy was not only discriminatory and unfair as it excluded earners in the informal sector but that it was also never subjected to public participation.


Wetang’ula allowed members wishing to file amendments to the new bill to do so by noon Wednesday before the start of the afternoon session.

He overruled Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi’s request for amendments to the Order Paper to have the third reading postponed to allow members opposed to the bill to table their amendments.

“Bearing in mind the enormous of possible amendments that are coming from members on this very very contentious bill, I want to plead with you that you consider giving us a little bit more time in terms of arranging the Order Paper,” Wandayi said.

“Hon Speaker, the feeling of most members here is that the timing of 2.30 pm tomorrow is too soon for those processes to be undertaken and be completed,” he added.

His Majority counterpart Kimani Ichung’wah, however, reminded Wandayi that he sits on the House Business Committee and was party to the resolution that the third reading be held on Wednesday.

“I’m glad that he asserts that he is a member of the House Business Committee…and these are the things that we should have transacted and he did not raise it,” Ichung’wah said.

The Speaker agreed with the Majority leader and ruled thus: “You both sit in the House Business Committee, you know what we passed…if the weight of the amendments are such that you need the winnowing of the process, I will have a consultation with both of you to see what we need to do otherwise, the matter will remain on the Order Paper for the committee of the whole tomorrow afternoon.”

Ruto’s Triumph: Affordable Housing Bill Clears Key Hurdle