The meeting chaired by President Mwai Kibaki directed Public Health Minister to ban the importation of Genetically Modified foods(GMOs) until such a time that the country will certify that they have no negative impact on the health of the people
The Cabinet in a statement issued by PPS noted that there is no sufficient information about on the dangers of such foods and ordered that the ban will stay until when there is sufficient information, data and knowledge indicating that they are not dangerous to the public health.
Besides this directive, the Cabinet also approved Marriage Bill which brings together in one law, christian, Islamic, and Hindu marriages as well as those done under customary laws.
This law will also provide legalization of the so-called, come-we-stay marriages. The Cabinet wants chiefs or administrators enabled to consider come-we-stay type of marriages that stay more than six months as a marriage and register them.
The law once enacted wioll offer protection to all types of marriages.
Such a marriage or that of customary marriage will now be having certificates if enacted.
The Cabinet also approved the Special Economic Zones Policy and Bill. This policy and the legislative framework will provide the basis for rapid industrialization as well as accelerated employment and wealth creation within the country.
Cabinet also passed the Campaign Finance Bill, 2012, which will regulate and manage the amount and source of funds that are used during elections and referenda so as to minimize, and even eliminate, the influence of financial resources in the outcome of Kenya’s electoral processes.
The Bill also seeks to create a level playing field for candidates for political office and their political parties by regulating the sources of funding and setting spending limits thereby encouraging the development of issue-based politics.
The Bill bars contributions into campaign kitties from foreign governments and entities, anonymous contributions, contributions from illegal sources and those from the state and state institutions or public sources.
The Bill provides for the disclosure and documentation of source of funds for political parties and provides for offences that may arise from financing of campaigns.
The Bill provides punitive penalties for offenders which include the disqualification of candidates or political parties from contesting an election.
The Bill also allows for spouses to enter agreements as to how they will own property either separately or collectively.
It also provides for division of matrimonial property between and among spouses within the context of Customary Law, particularly in polygamous unions.
The Cabinet has also approved the bill on protection against domestic violence.
The Bill seeks to deal with the protection and relief of victims of domestic violence. It will empower courts to make orders to protect victims.
It also seeks to ensure speedy, inexpensive and simplified procedures for victims to access justice. The Bill also requires perpetrators of domestic violence to undergo counseling to curb their violent tendencies.
It also makes provision for counseling programmes for victims of domestic violence. The law will also provide a robust legal framework for protection of children in cases of domestic violence.
The Cabinet also deliberated on the Office of the Attorney-General Bill 2012 and the Office of the Director of Public prosecutions Bill, 2012.
The Office of the Attorney-General Bill provides for administration of the office of the AG, sets out the functions and powers of the AG, and provides for the performance of the functions of the AG and the appointment of State Counsel to the office.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Bill aims at granting the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions with the requisite operational, administrative and financial autonomy necessary to secure its constitutional independence.
It also seeks the establishment of an Advisory Board, establishment of a structured mechanism to enhance and promote Inter-Agency Cooperation in addition to promoting transparency, responsiveness and accountability of the office to the National Assembly and the Public.
By Maureen Murimi.