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4th June 2021 Parliamentary Round UP

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

The House is on recess and will be resuming on 8th June 2021.

SENATE

PAPERS

  • The Report of the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget on the County Allocation of Revenue Bill Senate Bill No. 30 of 2021 was laid at the Table of the House.

BILLS

The Mental Health (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No.32 of 2018)

By Sen. (Arch.) Sylvia Kasanga

The Bill was coming up for Second Reading.

It proposes to impose obligations on each level of government to address the issue of accessibility to mental health services including care, treatment and rehabilitation of persons with mental illness. The Bill also proposes to incorporate within the membership of Kenya Mental Health Board representation of the county governments.

The Bill was accordingly read the Second time and passed.

The Wildlife Conservation and Management (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 30 of 2020)

By Sen.Johnes Mwaura

The Bill was coming up for a Second Reading. It seeks to amend the Wildlife 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. It also provides a timeline of twelve months for the compensation for human death, human injury or crop and property damage caused by wildlife in accordance with the Act. The Bill makes further provision for the payment of compensation and other entitlements due to local communities affected by wildlife in accordance with the Act.

The Bill was accordingly read the Second time and passed.

The County Allocation of Revenue Bill (Senate Bills No. 30 Of 2021)

By Chairperson, Standing Committee on Finance and Budget

The Bill was coming up for a Second Reading. It seeks to make provision for the allocation of revenue raised nationally among the county governments for the financial year 2021/22.

The Bill was read the Second time and committed to the Committee of the Whole House.

The Community Health Services Bill (Senate Bills No. 34 of 2020)

By Sen. (Dr.) Agnes Zani, MP

The Bill was coming up for a Second Reading. 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 First Schedule of the Health Act, 2017 recognises Community Health Services at Level 1 as a function of the county governments. The Bill also sets out the role of the National Government and the role of county government in regard to the provision of community health services.

MOTIONS

Conferment the of City Status to Nakuru

The House considered the Report of the Standing Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations on the conferment of City status to Nakuru Municipality, laid on the Table of the Senate on Tuesday, 25th May, 2021, and pursuant to Section 8 (6) of the Urban Areas and Cities Act, approved the conferment of City status to Nakuru Municipality.

PETITION

The House was informed of the Petition by Mr. Reuben Kibegwa Mageuzi concerning the state of corruption, recruitment, public participation, access to information and civic education in Kisii County. The Petition raises the following salient issues:

  1. That there has allegedly been non-compliance with mandatory provisions for the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act and corruption in the tendering process in the Kisii County Government.
  2. That there has allegedly been irregular recruitment processes whereby personal staff have been recruited without proof of academic and professional qualifications as required by the law guiding the Kisii County Public Service Board and the Kisii County Assembly Service Board.
  3. That the County Government has allegedly failed to deliver civic education and conduct public participation and public policy matters in the county.
  4. That the Kisii County Government has allegedly obstructed access to information pursuant to Article 35 of the Constitution of Kenya.
  5. That there has allegedly been failure to involve the members of the County Economic Budget Forum in decision making as required pursuant to Section 3137 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.

The Petitioner prays that the Senate investigates the issues raised in the Petition and make appropriate recommendations thereon. The Petition was referred to the Standing Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations for its consideration.

STATEMENTS

The following Statements came up on the Floor of the House among others:

Privatization of Mumias Sugar Company Limited

Sen. Malalah sought a Statement from the Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries on the state of affairs at Mumias Sugar Company Limited and the reported resuscitation measures. In the Statement, the Committee should –

  1. Address in detail the current state of the company’s assets and liabilities while indicating the value of the core and non-core assets and stating which entity undertook such valuation if at all;
  2. State the fate of the current receiver manager while providing details on when and by whom the decision to lease out the company was made and tabling correspondence on the said decision to the Capital Market Authority and other regulatory bodies;
  3. Provide details on the procedure to be followed by the Government in selling its stake in the company and address specifically the bidding process including who the bidders were, when the bidding took place, when the evaluation of submitted tenders was done, what criteria was used to pick the successful tenderer, what were the relevant legal instruments under which the process of leasing was conducted, whether there was public participation in the process, which other companies submitted their bids for the tender and when were they invited to bid;
  4. Explain the company’s revival plan and provide details of the entity deemed to be qualified to take over Mumias Sugar Company Limited while providing the justification;
  5. Indicate whether the stakeholders were consulted and provide a report of such consultation, if at all, including the creditors and debtors and clarify who will pay the pending debts owed by the company, particularly, debts owed to farmers and workers.

Activities of the Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries

Sen. Ndwiga made a statement on the activities of the Standing Committee on Agriculture. Livestock and Fisheries, for a period commencing 9th February to 19th March, 2021. During the period under review, the Committee held four sittings, considered four Bills, one Petition and one statement. The Committee also held its Work Planning Retreat between 18th and 21st February, 2021.

In respect to Bills, the following were considered:

  1. The Coffee Bill (Senate Bills No.22 of 2020)
  2. The Draft Coconut Industry Development Bill
  3. The Draft Cotton Bill
  4. The Draft Pyrethrum Bill

On the Coffee Bill (Senate Bills No.22 of 2020) the Bill sponsored by the Committee was published on 23rd October, 2020 and thereafter forwarded to the National Assembly for concurrence. The principal object of the Bill is to provide for the development and regulation of the coffee industry in Kenya. The Bill proposes to reorganize the coffee industry by transitioning the regulatory and commercial roles, currently undertaken by the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), to the Coffee Board of Kenya (CBK). The Bill further seeks to transition the research of coffee currently undertaken by the Coffee Research Institute (CRI) under the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) to CRI.

The Bill has been read the First Time – and noting that a similar Draft Coffee Bill had been developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, the Committee during its Work Planning Retreat held between 18th and 21st February, 2021, resolved to hold a Coffee Conference on 16th April, 2021. The Conference created a platform for discussions on reforms in the coffee sub-sector, as well as discussions between the Ministry and the Committee on the two Bills. This was with a view to harmonize their provisions.

Regarding the Draft Coconut Industry Development Bill, the Committee is in the final stages of consideration. The Bill shall be ready for publication by April, 2021. The Committee further resolved to develop the Draft Cotton Bill and the Draft Pyrethrum Bill, which seeks to provide for the regulation, development and promotion of the cotton and pyrethrum industries. The two Bills are currently undergoing drafting and shall be considered by the Committee in due course.

Regarding Statements, one statement was referred to the Committee. This was on the Climate Smart Project in Lamu County. It was sought by Sen. Loitiptip on 4th March, 2021. The Committee awaits a response from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives. With regard to Petitions, the Committee considered the Petition concerning the plight of seed farmers in Trans Nzoia County which was committed to the Committee on 22nd September, 2020. The Committee met the petitioners and Kenya Seed Company in November 2020 and awaits a response from the Ministry on the Petition. Upon receipt of the response, the Committee shall table its report in the Senate.

The Committee intends to carry out the following key activities during the next quarter-

(i) Consideration and publication of Bills to amend the Crops Act 2013 so as to unbundle the regulation and management of major crops that fall within the ambit of the agriculture and food authority and establish standalone agencies for their regulation.

(ii) Thematic conferences to address challenges facing various subsectors in the agriculture sector and reforms including the coffee conference, coconut conference, cotton conference, sugar conference and the pyrethrum conference.

(iii) Meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives to elaborate on the policy framework that is being applied to undertake the ongoing agricultural reforms by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives.

ADJOURNMENT

The Senate stands adjourned until 6th July, 2021.

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