Esther Passaris explains her absence when Affordable Housing Bill was passed in parliament

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 22 Feb, 2024 12:06 | 2 mins read
Esther Passaris
Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris. PHOTO/@EstherPassaris/X

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris has explained her absence when members of parliament passed the Affordable Housing Bill 2023 on Wednesday.

Speaking to a local TV station, Passaris said she was at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Conference alongside Dagoretti North MP Beatrice Elachi.

"Beatrice Elachi and I were at the IGAD Conference. We are the host country. As the host country we can't be absent for a big conference where you've got other countries represented," Passaris said.

Passaris has also blamed the minority whip for failing to notify members from the opposition of the vote on the bill which happened on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

"One of the reasons a political party has a whip is because when something is near, when you are having a vote going to happen in parliament, your whip is supposed to call all the members or post on the political (party) wall. I am in the ODM wall (and) there was no mention of 'hey, head to the house the vote should be happening in the next 10 or 15 minutes," Passaris said.

Affordable Housing Bill passed

On Wednesday, MPs passed the Affordable Housing Bill 2023 without amendments even as a section of opposition colleagues walked out of the chambers in protest.

All the amendments proposed by both the Majority and Minority sides were defeated with the bill passing in its original form.

Minority Whip Junet Mohammed rallied his troops to walk out in protest, saying the debate had been predetermined in favour of the Executive.

“Azimio filed several amendments, some on Tuesday and some today morning. Unfortunately, it looks like there are some instructions from Kenya Kwanza regime that this bill be passed without amendment,” Junet said.

“So we decided to walk out of the chamber because we don’t want to participate in a rubber-stamping exercise or an illegitimate.”

The bill, which will be transmitted to the Senate for concurrence, will see salaried Kenyans pay a 1.5 per cent of their gross income as housing levy.