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6th August 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

PAPERS LAID

The following papers were laid at the Table of the House among others:

  • Report of the Departmental Committee on Communication Information and Innovation on its consideration of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Amendment Bill, National Assembly Bill No. 11 of 2021.
  • Report of the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on its consideration of:
  1. The Irrigation (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 13 of 2021 and;
  2. Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2021 on the National Water Policy.
  • Draft Elections Campaign Financing Regulations and Explanatory Memorandum from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC.
  • Summary of the Report of the Auditor General for the National Government for the Financial Year 2019-2020.
  • Special Audit Report of the Auditor General on the Lake Turkana Wind Pipe Project. 
  • Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Procurement of external audit service for the office of the Auditor General for the Financial Year 2018-2019 & 2019-2020.
  • Report of the Departmental Committee on Transport Public Works and Housing on its consideration of the following:
  1. The National Construction Authority (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 45 of 2020); and
  2. The Kenya Roads (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 13 of 2021).
  • Report of the Departmental Committee on Labor and Social Welfare on its consideration of the Social Assistance (Repeal) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 16 of 2020) and the Children (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 46 of 2020).
  • Report of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on its consideration of:
  1. The Pension (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 26 of 2020).
  2. The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No 34 of 2020).
  3. The Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 39 of 2020).
  4. The Kenya Deposit Insurance (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 43 of 2020).
  5. The Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 47 of 2020).
  6. The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No 49 of 2020).
  7. The Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 10 of 2021.
  8. The Trustees Perpetual Succession (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 23 of 2021).
  9. The Perpetuities and Accumulation (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 24 of 2021).
  • Report of the Departmental Committee on Health on its consideration of:
  1. The National Hospital Insurance Fund (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 21 of 2021).
  2. The Health (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 14 of 2021).
  3. The Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No 1 of 2021).
  4. The Community Health Workers Bill (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 30 of 2020).
  5. Radiographers Bill (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 47 of 2019).  
  • Legal Notice No. 117 of 2021 relating to the Anti-Counterfeit (Amendment) Regulations of 2021 and the Explanatory Memorandum from the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development.
  • Legal Notice No. 118 of 2021 relating to the Anti-Counterfeit (Recordation) Regulations of 2021 and the Explanatory Memorandum from the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development.
  • The list of nominees to the National Government Constituency Development Fund Committees for Nambale and Sirisia Constituencies.
  • The Guidelines on Management of Human Resource in the Public Service during postCOVID-19 Pandemic.
  • The National Government Implementation Review Report for the first nine months of the Financial Year 2020/2021. 

COMMUNICATIONS OF THE CHAIR

Draft Elections Campaign Financing Regulations

The Speaker of the House provided guidance with regards to the submission of the Draft Elections Campaign Financing Regulations by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The Elections Campaigns Act, 2013 (the Act) was enacted by Parliament in order to provide for the regulation, management, expenditure and accountability of Campaign Funds during elections and referendum campaigns. The Act was suspended with respect to the 2017 general elections.

Section 29(1) of the Act, empowers IEBC to make regulations for the better performance of its functions under the Act. In addition, Section 5 mandates IEBC to make rules to regulate its election campaign financing at least 12 months before the elections.

The Regulations are expected to provide for among other things:

  1. The Spending Limits for different elections
  2. Guidelines for the expenditure rules for political parties and independent candidates.
  3. The manner in which contributions may be made.

Sections 12, 18 and 19 of the Act empowers the IEBC to set limits for contributions and expenditures for candidates and political parties participating in an election at least 12 months before the election.  Though the Act stipulates the timelines for the approval of the said regulations, the Statutory Instrument Act, 2013 provides for the ultimate Process and procedure for consideration of regulations in general.

In that regard, the Speaker referred the Draft Regulations and the explanatory memorandum to the Committee on Delegated Legislation for consideration in accordance with the law. The committee was directed that they may also undertake the necessary public engagements in accordance with the law.  Given the statutory timeline under the Act, the Committee was asked to expedite the process of consideration of the regulation and table its report soonest to enable the House to undertake the necessary approvals processes in good time.

MESSAGE

Nomination for appointment to the position of  IEBC Member

The House received a message from His Excellency, the President of Kenya in regards to the Nominees for appointment to the position of member of IEBC. The President, having received the report of the Selection Panel for the appointment of Commissioners of the IEBC and in accordance with the procedure set out in Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act, 2011 and the Parliamentary Approval Act, is seeking the approval of the National Assembly on appointment of the following nominees: Francis Wanderi, Justus Abonyo, Juliana Cherera, and Irene Cherop.

The message and the Curriculum Vitaes of the nominees were referred to the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs for the Committee to undertake the necessary approval hearings and table its Report before the House proceeds for its long recess which is scheduled to begin on 20th August, 2021.

MOTIONS

Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2021 on the National Water Policy

The House was given Notice to adopt the Report of the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on its consideration of the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2021 on the National Water Policy, laid on the table of the House on Wednesday August 4th 2021 and further approve the Sessional Paper No. 01 of 2021.

PETITION

Integrity of the process of Marking & Release of KCPE Exams

The House received a Petition regarding the Integrity of the process of Marking & Release of KCPE Exams. The Petition was filed by Ms. Mary Njoki and Mr. Isaac Njoroge on behalf of their minor children. The Petitioners sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in the 2020 class and claim that an extensive analysis of results of KCPE 2020 Examination, that was released on 15th April, 2021 is indicative of a pattern of possible manipulation of results that skewed the general performance in favour of candidates at public schools to the detriment of candidates from private schools.

The Petitioners stated that although learning during the academic year preceding the examination was largely disrupted by the Covid-19, pandemic, private Schools heavily invested in ICT and deployed alternative learning methods including online classes which ensured that candidates from private schools were prepared for their KCPE Examinations compared to those in public schools that lacked capacity to ensure seamless continuity of the learning process. The Petitioners were therefore puzzled that contrary to the logical expectation, the 2020 KCPE results were skewed to reflect better performance of public schools and a drastic drop in the performance of candidates in private schools. 

The Petitioners attached progress reports to demonstrate that the marks they were awarded for KCPE 2020 reflect a drastic negative deviation from the average scores they had and their colleagues in private schools had been posting continuous assessment test including the assessment done by the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) after resumption of learning post Covid-19 to ascertain the preparedness of candidates to sit for the KCPE examinations.

Petitioners also aver that even KNEC in its Reports on Monitoring Learner Achievement at Class 7 level primary school education admitted that pupils from private schools achieved higher mean scores in all subjects than their counterparts in public schools. The Petitioners are concerned that the progress of marking and release of KCPE Examinations lacks transparency and is shrouded in mystery due to the limitation imposed on the authenticity of marks that the candidates scored. The Petitioners therefore pray that the National Assembly through the Departmental Committee on Education and Research;

  • Enquires into allegations of possible external influence on the process of marking the KCPE examinations which resulted in candidates of public school being awarded higher scores than their counterparts in private schools.
  • Reviews the legal framework governing marking and release of National Examinations particularly Rule 12 and amends the Kenya National Examination Council Act with a view to securing the process of external influence by stakeholders and the Ministry of Education and to permit the right of access to information by aggrieved candidates.
  • Makes any other recommendation that the committee may deem fit in addressing the plight of the Petitioners.

The Speaker of the House, having determined that the matters raised by the Petitioners are well within the authority of the House, ordered that the Petition be committed to the Departmental Committee on Education and Research. The Committee is required to consider the Petition and Report its findings to the House and the Petitioners. 

BILLS

The following Bills were coming up for a Second Reading;

  • The Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 70 of 2019) by Hon. Silvanus Osoro, M.P. The principal object of this Bill is to amend the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, No. 4 of 2010 to empower the Cabinet Secretary to prescribe the hours within which electronic advertisement of alcoholic drinks shall be done. This is in order to reduce the exposure to children and other vulnerable persons in the community such as recovering alcoholics of unsuitable content on alcohol consumption.
  • The Waqf Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 73 of 2019) by the Leader of the Majority Party. The principal object of the Bill is to provide for the establishment of the Waqf Commission, the administration of waqf property and to repeal the Wakf Commissioners Act (Cap. 109 of the laws of Kenya). The Bill was accordingly read the Second time and passed.
  • The Judicial Service (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 33 of 2020) by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. The principal object of the Bill is to amend Section 30 of the Judicial Service Act, No. 1 of 2011 in order to insert a provision empowering the Judicial Service Commission to commence the process of recruitment of a new Chief Justice at least six months before the expected retirement date or expiry of the term of the Chief Justice under Article 167 of the Constitution. The Bill was however withdrawn following the declaration of Section 30(3) of the Act as unconstitutional by the High Court of Kenya in the case of Law Society of Kenya Vs. Attorney General & Another, 2016 EKLR.
  • The National Hospital Insurance Fund (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 21 of 2021) by the Leader of the Majority Party. The Bill seeks to amend the National Hospital Insurance Fund Act, 1998 in order to establish the National Health Scheme and to enhance the mandate and capacity of the National Hospital Insurance Fund to facilitate and deliver Universal Health Coverage.
  • The Foreign Service Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 8 Of 2021) by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. The Bill seeks to provide for the establishment, management, administration, accountability and functioning of a professional foreign service of the Republic of Kenya. The Bill was accordingly read the second time and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.
  • The County Governments (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No. 13 of 2018) by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. The Bill seeks to amend section 58 of the County Governments Act, No. 17 of 2012, to provide for the appointment of human resource management professionals as chairpersons of the County Public Service Boards. The Bill was accordingly read the second time and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

STATEMENTS

The following Statements were raised on the floor of the House among others:

Juvenile Facilities

The Member for Ganze (Hon. Teddy Ngumbao, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government the following: –

  1. Could the Cabinet Secretary confirm whether Police Stations in the Country have juvenile cells for both male and female gender, and if so, how many such facilities are available across the Country and in which Police Stations are they located in?
  2. Could the Cabinet Secretary provide a list of the total number of female juvenile suspects arrested between 2019 and May 2021 in the country and indicate whether they were detained in juvenile custodies or not?
  3. What measures has the Government put in place with a view to ensure safe, humane and proper handling of female juvenile suspects in police cells?

The question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.

Communication Masts and Installations

The Member for Wundanyi (Hon. Danson Mwashako, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs the following: –

  1. Could the Cabinet Secretary provide names of all the firms who own communication masts and installations at the Vuria Hill in Wundanyi Constituency?
  2. Could the Cabinet Secretary explain why the road leading to the said installations has not been maintained and why the owners of the masts have failed to carry out Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects for the community living in the area particularly in Mghange Area considering that the masts and installations have occupied and disenfranchised the community off a recreational site and viable area for tourism purposes?
  3. Could the Cabinet Secretary clarify whether an environmental impact assessment on health and safety of the masts and installed equipment was carried out, particularly on the effect and nature of network and waves transmissions before installation of the masts?
  4. Could the Cabinet Secretary consider involving the area community on employment of technicians from amongst the locals for jobs such as routine maintenance of the masts and equipment, the surrounding environment and pathways leading to the said installations?

The question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation

Management of Cash Transfer Programme for Elderly Persons

Hon. (Ms.) Edith Nyenze (Kitui West, WDM-K) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection the following:

  1. Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the status of registration of elderly persons, and disbursement and payments of money under the Cash Transfer Programme for Elderly Persons in Kitui West Constituency?
  2. What steps is the ministry taking to ensure that all registered persons who have not been paid their monthly stipends are paid, and by when will this be done?
  3. What plans have been put in place for effective management and control of the Cash Transfer Programme for Elderly Persons across the country?
  4. Could the Cabinet Secretary explain measures put in place to ensure that the programme runs seamlessly? Hon. Deputy Speaker: Very well. I congratulate Hon. Nyenze for using her electronic gadget rather than the paper.

The question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare.

Insecurity in Igembe Central Constituency

The Member for Igembe Central (Hon. Kubai Iringo, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government the following:

  1. Could the Cabinet Secretary outline the measures the Ministry has put in place to urgently stem the rampant cases of insecurity in Igembe Central Constituency occasioned by invasions and attacks by armed raiders, suspected to be from the neighbouring Isiolo county, who on 28th July 2021 attacked and caused the death of four (4) residents of Nukai Village and stole property of unknown value?
  2. Could the Cabinet Secretary state the measures the Ministry has put in place to disarm the said raiders and apprehend the criminals who have been attacking innocent civilians as they attempt to protect their property and farms?
  3. Could the Cabinet Secretary also explain the steps the Ministry is taking to stop illegal grazers from invading private farms and destroying crops in search of pasture for their animals?
  4. Could the Cabinet Secretary consider compensating the victims of the attacks for the losses they have suffered in terms of loss of lives, medical expenses, funeral expenses and loss of farm produce?

The question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.

The following Statements were requested on the floor of the House:

  • Hon. Baya Owen Yaa, M.p. Kilifi North, requested for a statement regarding Payment of Internal Exam fees in Primary Schools from the Chairperson Departmental Committee on Education and Research.
  • Hon. Aden Duale, M.P. Garissa Township, requested for a Statement regarding the Breach of the Statistics Act No. 4 of 2006 by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in performance of its functions from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning.
  • Hon. Keter Alfred Kiptoo. M.P Nandi Hills, requested for a Statement regarding challenges occasioned by the Ministerial Policy on 100% transition to Secondary Schools in the country from the Chairperson Departmental Committee on Education and Research. 
SENATE

The following papers were laid at the Table of the House among others:

  • The Anti-Counterfeit (Amendment) Regulations, Legal Notice No. 117 of 2021.
  • The Anti-Counterfeit (Recordation) Regulations, Legal Notice No. 118 of 2021.
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Education on the County Vocational Education and Training Bill, (Senate Bills No. 6 of 2021)
  • Report of the Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations on the National Flag, Emblems and Names (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 36 of 2020).
  • The Schedule of Cash disbursement to county governments for the financial year 2021-2022.
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Health on the Special Audit Report on the utilization of COVID-19 funds by county governments.

MOTIONS

Adjournment of the Senate

The House considered and approved the Motion that the Senate adjourns until Tuesday, 7th September, 2021.

PETITION

The following issues came up at the Floor of the House with regards to Petitions:

  • The Report of the Standing Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industrialization on a Petition by residents of Uasin Gishu County concerning the liquidation of Moi University Savings and Credit Society Limited (MUSCO) was tabled.
  • The House received a Petition concerning the murder of Environmentalist and Conservationist, Ms. Joannah Stutchbury and protection of the environment and natural resources.
  • The House received a Petition by residents of Kisumu, concerning the COVID-19 situation at the Kibos Sugar Factory Limited in Kisumu County.
  • The House received a Petition by Mr. Taratisio Kawe regarding proposals to amend Article 47 and 49 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and other laws relating to criminal offences.

BILLS

The following Bills came up before the House.

  • The Law of Succession (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No.15 of 2021) by Sen. Abshiro Halake, MP. The Bill was coming up for Second reading. It seeks to amend the law of succession Act to ensure that the Act provides for gender equity with regards to succession matters.
  • The Natural Resources (Benefit Sharing) Bill (Senate Bills No. 25 of 2020) by Sen. (Dr.) Agnes Zani, Mp. The Bill was coming up for Division under second reading. The Bill seeks to provide a legislative framework for the establishment and enforcement of a system of benefit sharing in natural resource exploitation between natural resource exploiters, the national government, county governments and local communities and to that end provides that the Commission for Revenue Allocation oversees the same. The Bill was accordingly voted on and passed. As such, the Bill was read for the Second Time and passed.
  • The Prompt Payment Bill (Senate Bills No. 16 of 2021) by Sen. (CPA) Farhiya Haji, MP and Sen.Sakaja Johnson, MP. The Bill was coming up for Division under second reading. The principal object of the Bill is to put in place a legal framework to facilitate prompt payment for supply of goods, works and services procured by government entities both at the national and county level. The Bill was accordingly voted on and passed. As such, the Bill was read for the Second Time and passed.

The following Bills came up for consideration by the Committee of the Whole House:

  • The Wildlife Conservation and Management (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 30 of 2020) by Sen. Johnes Mwaruma, MP. The Bill seeks to amend the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, No. 47 of 2013, in order to make further provision for the allocation of adequate facilities to County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committees established under the Act. The Committee considered the Bill and approved it with amendments. As such, the Bill was accordingly read the third time and passed.
  • The Community Health Services Bill (Senate Bills No. 34 of 2020) by Sen. (Dr.) Agnes Zani, MP. The principal object of the Bill is to provide a framework for the regulation of community health services and the recognition of community health volunteers.  The Committee considered the Bill and approved it with amendments. As such, the Bill was accordingly read the third time and passed.
  • The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 33 of 2020) by Sen. (Dr.) Agnes Zani, MP. The Bill provides a structured mechanism through which the Executive and the independent commissions and offices are required to give greater consideration to the issues raised and the recommendations made by Parliament. The Committee considered the Bill and approved it with amendments. As such, the Bill was accordingly read the third time and passed.
  • The National Flag, Emblems and Names (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 36 of 2020) by Sen.(Dr.) Agnes Zani, MP.  The principal object of the Bill is to amend the National Flag, Emblems and Names Act, Cap. 99 Laws of Kenya (the Act) to ensure that the National Anthem is safeguarded.  The Committee considered the Bill and approved it without amendments. As such, the Bill was accordingly read the third time and passed.
  • The Coffee Bill (Senate Bills No. 22 of 2020) by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. The principle object of the Bill is to provide for the development and regulation of the Coffee industry in Kenya. The Committee considered the Bill and approved it with amendments. As such, the Bill was accordingly read the third time and passed.

STATEMENTS

The following Statements were raised on the floor of the House among others:

  • Sen. Iman Falhada Dekow, MP made a statement concerning the alarming rate of suicide cases in Kenya.
  • Senator Sakaja made a statement on the double taxation on footwear importers and traders by the Kenya Revenue Authority.
  • Sen. Mohamed Faki Mwinyihaji, MP made a statement concerning the mistreatment of Kenyan Seafarers working on Chinese owned fishing vessels.
  • Sen. Samson Cherarkey, MP sought the following Statements from various committees:
  1. a statement from the Standing Committee on Health concerning the approval process and importation procedure for Covid-19 vaccines into Kenya.
  2. a statement from the Standing Committee on Health concerning the status of the alleged banned Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in Kenya.
  • Sen. Abshiro Halake, MP sought the following Statements from various committees:
  1. a statement from the Standing Committee on Education concerning the high drop-out rates of school-going girls.
  2. a statement from the Standing Committee on Land, Environment and Natural Resources on the status of Kwa Muhu Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) resettlement farm in Kanjuiri, Olkalou in Nyandarua County.
  • Sen. (Dr.) Gertrude Musuruve, MP made a statement on the plight of high performing children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
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