President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday signed into law the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2019 and the Insurance (Amendment) Bill of 2018, at State House Nairobi.
The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill amends 11 Acts of parliament including those on Merchant Shipping, Alcohol Control, Tourism, Public Finance Management, Prevention of Terrorism and the Insolvency Act.
The amended Prevention of Terrorism Act introduces other Government Agencies to the membership of the Counter-Terrorism Centre.
The agencies include the National Police Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Kenya Prisons Service and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.
The amendment of this statute expands the responsibilities of the Counter Terrorism Centre to include analysis of all information and intelligence on terrorism and counter-terrorism activities.
The Centre has also been empowered to act as an approving and reporting institution for all civil society organizations and international non-governmental organizations engaged in preventing and countering violent extremism and radicalisation.
The amended statute on Merchant Shipping seeks to exempt a shipping line owned or controlled by the Government from restrictions on ship owners from providing certain services related to crewing agencies, pilotage, clearing and forwarding agents and general ship contractor among other operations.
In line with the President’s recommendations, the restrictions will not apply to the Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) whose majority shareholding is held by the Government through the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
It is hoped that the exemption of these restrictions will support the government’s policy on employment creation for the youth within maritime catchment regions and also open up the sector for investment by other Kenyans.
The amended Insurance Bill seeks to address fraudulent activities in the industry among other pertinent concerns.
Besides introducing legal provisions creating offences on insurance fraud, the Insurance Amendment Bill, 2018 institutes penalties intended to address problems of insurance fraud that continue to be a major challenge on the stability of the industry in the country.
The general objective of the new Insurance law is to amend the Insurance Act (Cap 487) to address all matters related to underwriting and claim assessment costs while speeding up claim settlements.
The Bill further aligns the Insurance Act to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) standards on countering insurance fraud.
The Bill amends various clauses of the Insurance Act including those that empower both the Commissioner of Insurance and the Board of Directors of the Insurance Regulatory Authority to approve the registration of an entity applying for registration as an insurer.
Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich (Treasury) and his Permanent Secretary Kamau Thugge, Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and the leader of majority in Parliament Aden Duale were among those who witnessed the signing of the Bills.