- President Uhuru has declined to sign three parliamentary bills that include the Information communication Technology practitioners bill, the Insurance professional registration bill of 2020 and the higher education loans bill of 2020.
The Bill has been in parliament since 2016, which was approved by the National Assembly less than a fortnight ago, and had attracted backlash from Kenyans who termed it ridiculous.
A section of Kenyans called on CS Mucheru to advise President Kenyatta against signing the Bill, adding that it would undermine players in the sector.
Industry stakeholders felt the bill introduces barriers to a field that already has a skills gap with the endless bureaucracies for freelance ICT Practitioners.
The bill says “A person who, not being eligible to be licensed or registered under this Act, uses the title ICT practitioner as appropriate to a person so registered or licensed, which entitles such a person to use that title, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Ksh500,000 or an imprisonment not exceeding two years,”
The Bill required that all ICT practitioners, including those with basic skills such as building a website, must get licenses to be allowed to operate.
The bill also recommended that any person who attempts to illegally buy a licence would be fined Ksh500,0000 or serve a jail term not exceeding two years or both.
In addition, practitioners who allow unlicenced persons to practice under their name, disregard clients’ needs, feelings or rights, and abandon projects causing clients to incur unnecessary expenditure will be committing an offence.
The Bill further proposed that practitioners who fail to honour summons by the recommended council over complaints by clients will be liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh50,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months.
The President sent the Bill back to Parliament with memoranda asking the House to listen to practitioners and put into consideration their concerns.
On his part, the ICT Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru, made it clear that his Ministry was opposed to the Bill he opined was only passed by MPs due to the current political climate.
“This ICT Bill is a private member’s Bill. As a Ministry, we continuously fought against this Bill in its various forms. The political season comes with all manner of surprises including failed assurances by the people responsible. I will do my part to safeguard our thriving sector,” Mucheru stated.
President Uhuru also signed 10 other bills into law that include the Appropriation Bill, the supplementary Appropriations bill, the finance bill, the 2021 Radiographers Bill; National Electronic Single Window Bill; Traffic Bill; National Government Development Fund amendment Bill; Supreme Court Amendment Bill of 2022; County Allocation of Revenue Bill; and the Mental Health Bill.