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12th March 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

PAPERS LAID

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

  1. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Kenya Ports Authority for the Financial Year 2017/2018;
  2. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Office of the Controller of Budget for the Financial Year 2018/2019;
  3. Report of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) for the year ended 30th June 2020;
  4. The 21st bi-annual Report of the Monetary Policy Committee of October 2018 from the Central Bank of Kenya;
  5. The 22nd bi-annual Report of the Monetary Policy Committee for the period April 2019 from the Central Bank of Kenya;
  6. The 23rd bi-annual report of the Monetary Policy Committee for the period of October 2019 from the Central Bank of Kenya;
  7. The Monetary policy statement for the period 30th June 2018, June 2019 and December 2019 from the Central Bank of Kenya;
  8. The Kenya YearBook Editorial Board on Food Security (How Technology and Innovations are Creating Efficiencies and Job on today’s Farm) in Partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock Fisheries and Irrigation.
  9. Report from the Kenya Institute for Public Research and Analysis as follows:
    • Informal Sector Response to Shock; lessons from Kenya for the year 2019;
    • Effects of household environmental characteristics on child health in Kenya for the year 2017;
    • Determinants of informality in informal sector for the year 2019;
    • Determinants of technical efficiency in secondary schools in Kenya for year 2019;
    • Factors that determine choice of products markets for businesses in informal sector for the year 2019;
    • Effects of business environment on productivity of informal manufacturing enterprises in Kenya for the year 2019;
    • Gender productivity gap in the Kenya informal enterprises for the year 2019;
    • Technology acquisition and innovations in Kenya’s informal sector;
    • Assessment of intuitional structure governing the informal sector in Kenya;
    • The status of access to agri-finance by youth and women in Kenya for the year 2019;
    • Women’s access to agricultural finance in Kenya baseline Report 2019; and
    • Kenya’s Economic Report 2019;
  1. Report of the Departmental Committee of Health on its consideration of Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, National Assembly No. 34 of 2019; and
  2. Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on its consideration of the Division of Revenue Bill National Assembly Bill No. 7 of 2021.

COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR

Consideration of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Speaker notified the House that the Bill is currently undergoing public participation before the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and the Senate’s Standing Committee on Justice Legal Affairs and Human Rights. The Committees are expected to report to the respective Houses on or before 23rd March, 2021. The House Business Committee prioritized the Bill to be considered immediately upon resumption of the House. Thus, the Bill is scheduled to undergo consideration in Second Reading, Committee of the Whole House and Third Reading immediately the House resumes from the short recess and so that the process can be concluded by 27th March, 2021.

The Constitution requires that the Bill will be passed by Parliament if supported by a Majority of the Members of each House. Thus, in order to accord the Bill the necessary attention and time, the House Business Committee resolved that any Committee sitting and activities scheduled to be held during the period of consideration of the Bill should be held within the precincts of the House. The Speaker thus directed that no committees’ sittings or activities will be held outside of Parliament’s precinct during the consideration of the Bill and directed the Clerk to ensure compliance with the directive.

MESSAGES

Early Childhood Bill (Senate Bill No 26 of 2018)

The House received a message from the Senate regarding its approval of the Mediated Version of the Early Childhood Bill Sen. Bill No 26 of 2018 by a resolution made on 2nd March. The National Assembly approved the mediated version of the Bill on 4th March thereby concluding the Bi-cameral version of the Bill. It therefore follows that the Bill will be presented to the President for assent.

BILLS

The Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 27 of 2020)

The Bill was coming up for Second Reading. The Bill’s main object includes amending the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act No. 4 of 1994 in order to enhance penalties related to the offences in possession and trafficking in narcotics and psychotropic substance and define precursors and chemicals substances which may be used in manufacture of narcotics among others.

The Law of Succession (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 75 of 2019)

The Bill was coming up for a Second Reading. The principal object of the Bill is to amend the Law of Succession Act in order to give legitimate dependants of a deceased person a claim and a right in the deceased’s intestate estate.

The Crops (Amendment) Bill (N.A Bill No. 25 of 2019)

The Bill was coming up for a Committee of the Whole House. The main object of the Bill is to include Achiote to the First Schedule of the Crops Act, 2013.

PETITIONS

The Office of Speaker received the following Petitions:

  1. Petition on the removal of Ms. Tabitha Mutemi as a Member of Media Council of Kenya. The Petition states that Ms. Tabitha has acted in gross misconduct and in breach of the Constitution and several other laws by holding two public offices. The Petition was committed to the Departmental Committee on Communications, Information and Innovation for further consideration.
  2. Petition regarding the Repudiation of the entire National debt and its diversion to social service provision. The Petition was committed to the Departmental Committee of Finance and National Planning for further consideration.

MOTIONS

Alteration of House Calendar

The House given Notice resolved to alter its calendar 2021 regular sessions by varying the period for the short recess with respect to the first part of the session so that:

  • The short recess commences on Friday, March 12th and ends on Monday, 22nd of March 2021
  • The House resumes on Tuesday, 23rd March 2021 to continue with the first part of the session.

It was noted that the matter was discussed in the House Business Committee (HBC) based on the business the House anticipates to undertake between now and the end of the month. The Parliament made the decision that the constitutional amendment, sponsored by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), be processed simultaneously in the two Houses. It was thus important for the Houses to synchronize the tabling and the discussion of that debate in the two Houses. Currently, the Senate is in recess and will come back on 23rd March.

Reduction of Publication Period for a Specified Bill

The House resolved to reduce the publication period of the Division of Revenue Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 7of 2021) from seven days to one day due to the recess. As such, the Bill accordingly underwent the first and second reading and was consequently committed to the Committee of the Whole House.

Ratification of Economic Partnership Agreement Between Kenya and United Kingdom

The House considered and adopted the Report of the Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives including the Addendum to the Report, on its consideration of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Republic of Kenya, a member of the East African Community of the one part and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of the other part, consequently approving the Ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

The House also resolved that the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization or any other Cabinet Secretary under whom the Kenya-UK EPA is domiciled annually submits to the National Assembly-

  • a progress report on the implementation of the Kenya-UK EPA; and,
  • an Economic Impact Assessment report outlining the gains, losses and developments arising from the implementation of the Kenya-UK EPA.

STATEMENTS

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

  1. Hon. John Mutunga (Tigania West, JP) requested for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Education regarding lack of policy or guidelines for candidates sitting for examinations on syllabus coverage and attendance to classes.
  2. The Member for Nakuru Town East (Hon. David Gikaria, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Education whether he could explain why the presidential directive to all Secondary School Heads to release KCSE certificates and seek compensation of fees arrears from the Ministry of Education is being disregarded by many school heads.
  3. The Member Awendo (Hon. Walter Owino, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for the Energy on whether he could explain the plans the Ministry has put in place, if any, to connect the more than 2.4 million households across the country to electricity at a subsidized cost as envisaged under the Achieving Universal Electricity Access Programme and the expected timeline.
  4. The Member Awendo (Hon. Walter Owino, MP) requested for a Statement from the Departmental Committee of National Security regarding mandatory requirement for procurement of private security services by public and private institutions in the country.

Adjournment of the House

The House has proceeded for a short recess from March 12th and will be resuming on March 22nd 2021. As such, the House stands adjourned until Tuesday 23rd of March, 2021 at 2:30pm.

SENATE

The Senate is currently in a short recess and will resume on 23rd March 2021.

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