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5th March 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Communication from the Chair. 

Hon.Speaker Justin Muturi made further communication on the comments he made on Thursday, 25th Feb 2021 regarding the status of returns by County Assemblies to the Speakers of the Houses of Parliament.

As at close of business yesterday, 1st March 2021, 42 county assemblies had submitted their decisions on the draft Bill to the Speakers of the Houses of Parliament.

The five county assemblies that were yet to submit their decisions on the draft bill as at close of business yesterday, Monday 1st of March 2021 were; Migori, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Mandera and Kilifi. 

This notwithstanding, it will be recalled that the Speaker of the Senate and of the National Assembly did communicate to their respective houses that the BBI bill has met the threshold contemplated under Art. 257(7) of the Constitution having been approved by majority of the county assemblies. The Speaker said that there were two procedural questions that had been brought to his attention relating to the process of consideration in Parliament under Article 257 of the Constitution.

These two issues were:

  1. Should the bill be republished and if so, what value on the republication adds to the process?
  2. Does Standing Order 120 regarding the 14 days maturity period apply to such a bill before its introduction to Parliament?

The Speaker went ahead to say that with respect to a bill under Article 257 such notice period will serve little value as members will note, Article 257 contemplates expeditious processing of a bill to amend the Constitution by popular initiative.

In order to protect the integrity of the bill as proposed by its promoters and presented to the county assemblies as well as the process contemplated under Article 257, the speaker was of the opinion republication of the bill will serve no practical purpose and may lead to unnecessary delays in introduction and consideration of the bill as well as create confusion as to the operative fashion of the bill. 

The House Business Committee after its meeting held on Tuesday 2nd March, resolved that the bill be introduced in the House for first reading on Thursday, 4th of March 2021, in the form it was presented to the 47 county assemblies by IEBC.

The speaker also directed that the Clerk of the National Assembly urgently obtains sufficient copies of the said bill in the form it was presented to the 47 county assemblies by IEBC to enable its introduction into the house as directed.

In July 2020, the Senate amended its standing orders to provide for virtual sittings primarily to mitigate the risks caused by Covid-19 pandemic.

42 county assemblies have submitted their resolutions on the draft bill to the speakers of the house of parliament. So far, out of 42 only 2 county assemblies had rejected the bill. Certificates of approval and copies of the draft bill from Migori and Kilifi had also been approved. This brings the total number of county assemblies approving the draft bill to 42. The Bill was introduced on 4th of March for its first reading in the form that was presented to the 47 county assemblies by IEBC.

The Chair communicated that the Standing Order No. 141 provides that a bill having been read a first time shall stand committed to the relevant standing committee without question put.  In this case and in line with the directives issued in an earlier communication the Bill stands committed to the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights. The committee is required to hold joint sittings with the committee on Justice and Legal Affairs of the National Assembly on the Bill and undertake joint public hearings pursuant to S.Order 224 of the Senate. 

A process where the ultimate test to public participation will be the vote of the people in a referendum. Each and every Kenyan eligible to vote will vote either yes or no.

PAPERS LAID

  • The Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review for the First Half of the Financial Year 2020/2021 from the National Treasury. 
  • Annual Report for the Financial Year 2018/2019 from the Commission on Administrative Justice. Performance Report for the period January to June 2020 from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.
  • Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements in respect of various institutions for the year ended 30th June 2020.
  • Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements in respect of various institutions for the year ended 30th June 2019 and the relevant certificates.
  • Report of committee of the whole house:
  • Consideration of president’s reservations to the Employment (Amendment) Bill
  • Annual report and financial statements of the Commission of Revenue Allocation for the FY 2018/2019.
  • The 24th Bi-annual report of the monetary policy committee for the period April 2020 from the CBK.
  • The monetary policy statement for periods of June to December 2020 from CBK.
  • The 25th Bi-Annual Report of the Monetary Policy Committee for the Period October 2020 from the CBK.
  • Reports of the Auditor-General and financial statements of the AU and other international organization subscription funds from the national treasury for the years ended 30th June 2017 and 30th June 2018 respectively and the certificates therein. 
  • Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements of the East Africa Tourist Visa collection account from the National Treasury for the years ended 30th June 2016, 30th June 2017 and 30th June 2018 and the certificates therein.
  • Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Budget Policy Statement and the Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy.

BILLS

First Reading

  • The Constitution of Kenya(Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Mental Health(Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No. 28 of 2020)
  • The Persons With Disabilities(Amendment) Bill(Senate Bills No. 29 of 2020)
  • The Salaries and Remuneration Commission(Amendment) Bill(Senate Bills No.31 of 2020)
  • The Community Health Services Bill(Senate Bills No.34 of 2020)
  • The County Licensing (Uniform Procedures) Bill, 2020 (Senate bills No 32 of 2020)

Second reading

  • The County Statutory Instruments Bill (Senate Bill No. 21 of 2018)
  • The Land(Amendment) Bill(NA Bill No.54 of 2019)
  • The Kenya Information and Communications(Amendment)(No.2) Bill(NA Bill No. 20 of 2019)
  • The Constitution of Kenya(Amendment)(No.2) Bill(NA Bill No.40 of 2019)
  • The Labour Relations(Amendment) Bill (NA Bill No.19 of 2019) 
  • The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal (Amendment) Bill(No. 36 of 2019)
  • The Alcoholic Drinks Control(Amendment) Bill (NA Bill No. 70 of 2019)
  • The Insurance Professionals Registration Bill(NA Bill No.25 of 2020)

Third Reading

  • The Health (Amendment) Bill 
  • Care And Protection Of Older Members Of Society Bill
  • The Refugees Bill

Committee Of The Whole House

Motion

  • Adoption of the report of the Departmental Committee on Finance & National Planning on its inquiry into the optimization of revenue in grain handling services at the port of Mombasa read on the table of the House on Thursday, Nov 26th 2020.
  • The House adopted the motion – Approval of the Mediated Version of The Early Childhood Education Bill (Senate Bill No. 26 of 2018).
  • Hon. Koinange moved the Narcotics, Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill. (NA Bill No. 27 of 2020)
  • Adoption of the report of the Budget and Appropriation Committee on the 2021 Budget Policy Statement And The Medium-term Debt Management Strategy
  • Adoption of the report of the Sessional Committee on County Public Accounts and Investments on Audit Reports for County Executives for FY 2014/2015(1st July, 2014 to 30th June, 2015)
  • Parking Charges in Public Institutions Offering Essential Services
  • Report of the Parliament of Kenya Delegation To The 141st  Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union(IPU) and Related Meetings, held in Belgrade Serbia from 13th to 17th October, 2019

QUESTIONS

Hon. Samuel Atandi directed the following questions to the CS for National Treasury:

  1. Could the CS explain the status of the emergency liquidity facility created following the collapse of Imperial Bank and Chase Bank to bail out banks facing liquidity challenges and confirm whether the facility is still in existence and how many banks have so far benefited from it? 
  2.  Could the Cabinet Secretary also report on the status of the forensic audit conducted following the collapse of Imperial Bank? 
  3.  How was the firm(s) engaged in the forensic audit identified and procured?
  4. What are the specific terms of engagement of the firms conducting the forensic audit and are they being paid by the public through the Central Bank of Kenya?

STATEMENTS

Hon. Koinange stated that the government through the ministry of Interior, the Ministry of ICT is rolling out a comprehensive nationwide bodaboda training programme to address the increasing road safety challenge in the motorcycle public transport – bodaboda sector in Kenya. The programme is targeting close to 1.4 million countrywide. The NYS personnel will in collaboration with the stakeholders conduct the training beginning March 2021. The programme will be piloted in seven high risk counties. The programme aims at enhancing road safety in the country, specifically it aims in inculcating discipline, national values, mindset change among bodaboda riders.

The training programme was launched officially in Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos counties on 15th February 2021. The government is further working towards enrolling all bodaboda operators on a national data platform and formation of bodaboda saccos and associations to structure the bodaboda operations. The Ministry through the NPS and NTSA is undertaking enforcement and public education of the Motorcycle Safety, 2015 Regulations, countrywide.

Committee Meetings

  • The Cabinet Secretaries for Transport & Public Works is scheduled to appear before the departmental committee on Wednesday, 10th March 2021 
  • House Business Committee will convene on Tuesday, 9th March 2021 at 11:00 am to reschedule the business for the coming week.
SENATE 

Communication By The Speaker

On Thursday 25th February 2021,the speaker had issued a communication where he informed the Senate that as at 2pm on that day, 34 county assemblies had submitted to the two Speakers resolutions on the decisions by county assemblies on the proposed Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020. 33 county assemblies delivered the draft bill together with a certificate indicating their approval of the bill.

One county assembly rejected the bill but submitted a certificate of rejection only without the draft bill. Communication was made to the county assemblies stating the requirements under the guidelines for the purposes of their compliance. Since then and as at 1pm on Wednesday 3rd March, the senate had received submissions from an additional eight county assemblies; Kwale, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo, Turkana, Nandi, Bomet and Lamu.

The Senate business committee at its meeting held on Wednesday, resolved that the bill be introduced to the senate for first reading on Thursday 4th March 2021, in the format that it was presented to the 47 county assemblies by the IEBC.

The Speaker directed that the Clerk of the Senate publishes an advert on Friday 5th March inviting members of the public to submit memoranda on the bill.

Papers

  • Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru laid a report on the Petition concerning the irregular practice of the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) in Eldoret, by the Uasin Gishu County Executive. 
  • Sen. Khaniri said that the Uasin Gishu county executive should stop any further process initiated on the transaction meant to acquire the National Bank of Kenya Ltd in Eldoret.

Statements

  • Sen.Khaniri  rises to make a statement on the impact of Covid-19 on the food security in the country. We need to encourage the creation of businesses so as to create financial stability
  • Vihiga Sen.Khaniri rises to seek a statement from the Standing Committee on Energy concerning the frequent power outages in Vihiga County. 

Motions

  • Division: Motion on the adoption of the report on the Finance and Budget on the 2021 Budget Policy Statement and Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy.
  • Adoption of reports on County Public Accounts and Investments on the Audit Reports for County Executives for FYs 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018. 
  • Nominated Senator Gertrude Musuruve moved a motion on the provision of monthly stipend and other support services to cancer patients in identified county hospitals.

Bills

  • Division: The Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 11 of 2020).
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