March 26, 2021 - 5 minutes read

26th March 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

By Wanjiku Mwai
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

PAPERS LAID

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

  1. The Legal Notice No. 15 of 2021 relating to Exemption from Income Tax for Japanese Companies, Consultants and Japanese Personnel and the Explanatory Memorandum from the National Treasury.
  2. Legal Notice No. 27 of 2021 relating to the Public Finance Management (National Drought Emergency Fund) Regulations, 2020, and the Explanatory Memorandum from the National Treasury.
  3. Various Legal Notices relating to the Dairy Industry and their Explanatory Memorandum from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives.
  4. The National Government Budget Implementation Review Report for the First Half of the Financial Year 2020/2021 from the Office of the Controller of Budget.
  5. The County Governments Budget Implementation Review Report for the First Half of the Financial Year 2020/2021 from the Office of the Controller of Budget.
  6. Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on its consideration of the Supplementary Appropriation Bill (National Assembly Bill No.9 of 2021)
  7. Report of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on its consideration of the Business Laws (Amendment) No.2 Bill (National Assembly Bill No.50 of 2020) incorporating Reports from the following Committees:
  8. The Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning.
  9. The Departmental Committee on Health.
  10. The Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare.
  11. The Departmental Committee on Lands.
  12. The Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing
  13. The 12th Edition of the Bi-Annual Report on the status of alcoholic and drug abuse control in Kenya.

COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR

Withdrawal of Specific Provisions in the Business Laws (Amendment) (No.2) Bill

The Business Laws (Amendment) (No.2) Bill (National Assembly Bill No.50 of 2020) was published vide Kenya Gazette Supplement No.228 of 14th December 2020, to effect various amendments to 10 statutes. The Bill sponsored by the Leader of the Majority Party, was read a First Time on 22nd December 2020. It was, thereafter, referred to various departmental committees for consideration in accordance with their respective mandates, with the lead Committee being the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.

Following consultations with the Executive and the urgent need to expedite consideration of the Bill, the Leader of Majority wished to withdraw the proposed amendments relating to the National Construction Authority Act (No.41 of 2011) and the Land Registration Act (No.3 of 2012) statutes as contained in the Bill so as to ensure that the Bill no longer concerns county governments.

On 5th January 2021, the Speaker of the Senate had indicated that the Bill is one that concerns county governments and, therefore, will require to be considered by the Senate after passage by the National Assembly, in terms of Article 110(4) of the Constitution. However, thereafter, in another letter dated 16th March 2021, the Speaker of the Senate indicated that, if the aforementioned provisions are withdrawn from the Bill, it would no longer concern county governments and, therefore, be considered and enacted by the National Assembly alone, in terms of Article 109(3) of the Constitution.

Thus, following the request, the Speaker guided the House that the Bill will proceed as though the withdrawn sections were not part of it. Therefore, the Bill proceeded with Second Reading, Committee of the Whole House and subsequently Third Reading without making reference to the two withdrawn provisions. The Bill seeks to enhance the ease of doing business in Kenya.

MESSAGE

Nomination of Prof. Fatuma Nyaguthii Chege as Principal Secretary

The House received a Message from His Excellency the President conveying his nomination of Prof. Fatuma Nyaguthii Chege, and seeking approval for appointment as a Principal Secretary in the newly created State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms, under the Ministry of Education. The nomination was committed to the Departmental Committee on Education and Research for it to undertake the necessary approval hearings

MOTIONS

The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Regulations, 2020

The House considered the Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on its consideration of the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Regulations laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

The Regulations seek to delete Regulation 9 of the Value Added Tax Regulations, 2019. Regulation 9 stipulates the requirements of issuing a tax invoice when making taxable supplies. It however does not mandate the VAT registered person to generate a tax invoice by use of an electronic tax register. This created a challenge in the enforcement of compliance in the use of electronic tax registers especially following the repeal of the Value Added Tax (Electronic Tax Registers) Regulations, 2004 in 2017.

The Value Added Tax (Electronic Tax Invoice) Regulations, 2020

The House considered the Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on its consideration of the Value Added Tax (Electronic Tax Invoice) Regulations, 2020 laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

The Regulations provide a legal framework to govern the use of Electronic Tax Registers in accordance with Section 43(4) of the Value Added Tax Act (No. 23 of 2013) in order to provide for the interpretation, scope of application, use of the register, tax invoices and transmissions thereof, obligations of the user and creates offences for non-compliance and contravention. The Regulations also seek to enforce the VAT compliance and minimize fraud and tax evasion by obligating a registered user under Section 34 of the VAT Act to generate a tax invoice.

The Value Added Tax (Digital MarketPlace Supply) Regulations, 2020

The House considered the Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on its consideration of the Value Added Tax (Digital MarketPlace Supply) Regulations, 2020 laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

The Regulations seek to facilitate the implementation of VAT on supplies of services made in Kenya through a digital marketplace by non-resident suppliers who have no physical presence in the country. This is expected to create a level playing field for all players by providing a mechanism for collection of consumption tax in the digital space and counter the unfair advantage previously enjoyed by non-resident suppliers over local suppliers. The regulations also seek to address the scope of taxable suppliers in the digital marketplace.

Extension of Time for Consideration of a Specified Petition

The House resolved to extend the period for consideration of the Public Petition for the Removal of Ms. Tabitha Mutemi from the membership of the Media Council of Kenya, by a period of (14) days with effect from 29th March, 2021.

BILLS

The Supplementary Appropriation Bill (National Assembly Bill No.9 of 2021)

By the Chairperson, Budget and Appropriations Committee

The Bill was read for the First time and consequently ordered to be read a Second Time by leave of the House. The Bill was read the Second Time and thereafter committed to the Committee of the Whole House which considered the Bill and approved it with amendments. The Bill was accordingly read the Third Time and passed. The Bill makes provision for giving statutory sanction for public expenditure for the year ending 3oth June, 2021 on the basis of the Supplementary Estimates for the financial year 2020/21 and for the appropriation of those amounts.

The Division of Revenue Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 7 of 2021)

By the Chairperson, Budget and Appropriations Committee

The Bill was read the Second Time and committed to a Committee of the Whole House by the leave of the House which considered the Bill and approved the same without amendments. The Bill was accordingly read the Third Time and passed. The main objective of the Bill is to provide for the equitable division of revenue raised nationally among the national and county levels of government as required by Article 218 of the Constitution in order to facilitate the proper functioning of county governments and to ensure continuity of county services.

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

By the Hon. Peter Kaluma, M.P

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 dependents 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)

By the Hon. Tandaza Kassim Sawa, M.P

The House was in agreement with the Report of the Committee of the whole House on the Bill. As such, the Bill was accordingly read the Third Time. The main object of the Bill is to include Achiote to the First Schedule of the Crops Act, 2013.

Bills that came up for First Reading

1) The Public Finance Management (Amendment) (No.3) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 39 of 2020) – By the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning.

The Bill proposes to reduce the time for submission of financial statements by public entities from three months after the end of a financial year to one month after the end of a financial year. This is to ensure that the Office of the Auditor General has adequate time to carry out required audits and prepare the required reports.

2) The Landlord and Tenant Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 3 of 2021) –  By the Leader of the Majority Party.

The Bill seeks to introduce a legal framework which balances the interests of landlords and tenants in a free market economy by ensuring that landlords earn reasonable income from their investment in housing and also protects the tenant. The Bill also consolidates the laws relating to the renting of business and residential premises.

3) The Public Private Partnerships Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 6 Of 2021) – By The Leader of the Majority Party).

The principal object of the Bill is to provide for the participation of the private sector in the financing, construction, development, operation or maintenance of infrastructure or development projects through public private partnerships; to streamline the regulatory framework for public private partnerships as well as to repeal the Public Private Partnerships Act, 2013.

The Health Laws (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 2 of 2021)

By the Leader of the Majority Party

The Bill was scheduled to come up for First Reading. However, the Bill was stepped down to allow further consultations.

The Bill seeks to make various, wide ranging amendments to various health-related statutes on matters relating to health policy to improve efficiency, service delivery, realization of the Universal Cover Coverage and the Big 4 Agenda, in line with the Constitution, the Health Act, 2017, the Mwongozo Code of Governance for State Corporations and other applicable laws.

The Public Fundraising Appeals Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 66 of 2019)

By the Chairperson, Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee

The Bill was coming up for a Committee of the whole. However, the Bill was stepped down to allow the Implementation Oversight Committee to consolidate all amendments to the Bill. The Bill seeks to regulate the collections or harambees or public fundraising appeals.

STATEMENTS

Utilisation of Petroleum Development Levy Fund

Hon. Benard Shinali (Ikolomani, JP) raised the following questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Mining and Petroleum:

  • Could the Cabinet Secretary provide details of how much money has been collected since the inception of the Petroleum Development Levy to date considering that the charges were increased to Kshs5.4 per litre, up from Kshs0.4 in July, 2020?
  • How is the Petroleum Development Levy Fund administered in terms of collections and expenditure?
  • Could the Cabinet Secretary give details of how the money collected through the Fund will be utilised to stabilise fuel prices, and explain the role of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) in stabilising fuel prices?
  • Could the Cabinet Secretary confirm whether the Petroleum Development Levy and Petroleum Development Fund comply with the requirements of Article 201 of the Constitution and Section 25 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012?
  • What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that Kenyans enjoy predictable and affordable fuel prices now that the Hedging Fund is in place?

The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Energy.

Status Report on Consideration of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill

Hon. Clement Kigano (Kangema, JP) made a Statement that the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and the Senate Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights are jointly considering the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The Committees on Friday 19th March 2021, deliberated on various issues arising from the views received from the public and various stakeholders by way of oral submissions and written memoranda. In total, the Committee had 65 persons/groups. In so doing, the Committee identified a number of weighty constitutional, legal and procedural issues for consideration by the Committee, which were clustered under the following six (6) thematic areas:

  • Nature of the Bill;
  • Public participation;
  • Processing of the Bill;
  • Substantive issues on the Bill;
  • Referendum issues, and
  • Status of litigation.

The Committee further observed that this was the first time that the Houses were considering a proposal to amend the Constitution by way of popular initiative under Article 257 of the Constitution and that it was therefore expected that various constitutional, legal and procedural issues would arise. Further, the Committee noted that it was imperative that the emerging issues were carefully considered by the Committee as they would not only guide the ongoing process but also future processes for amendment of the Constitution by popular initiative.

The Committee thus resolved that there was need to engage experts in constitutional, legal, procedural and governance matters in order to advise on the issues arising in the thematic areas as identified. In this regard, the Joint Committee observed that the Committees may, with the approval of the Speaker, engage such experts as it may consider necessary in furtherance of its mandate. The Committees therefore resolved that a sub-committee of the Committee be established and identify experts who are well versed in the process and who have a wide experience in constitutional governance, legal and procedural matters to be procured to provide consultancy services on the matters before the Committee.

Noting that the House has many experts, the Speaker of the House directed that the Committee bring back the Bill to the House as it belongs to the House and not the Committee. He also ordered that the Bill be on the Order Paper for Second Reading on 1st April with or without a report.

Mobile Telephony Networks Connectivity in The Country

The Member for Mwingi Central (Hon. Gideon Mulyungi, MP), raised a question to the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs regarding the policy measures used to identify areas to be provided with mobile telephony networks connectivity in the country. The Member also requested for a list of areas that have mobile connectivity provided by the leading mobile telephony service and that the CS should confirm whether public participation was carried out in accordance with Article 46 of the Constitution in the identification of sites for construction of telephone service transmitters, indicating the total number of persons who attended and who presided over the event.

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

Effects of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

The Member for Mumias East (Hon. Benjamin Washiali, MP), raised the following questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Health: –

  1. Could the Cabinet Secretary confirm whether the Oxford made – AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (AZD1222) against COVID19 has any notable adverse side effects that including alleged cases of blood clotting amongst others when administered to persons, leading to banning of its use in some countries?
  2. Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the benefits of the said Vaccine, the level of protection and efficacy to individuals after being administered, and indicate whether any adverse side effects have been reported in the country?
  3. Could the Cabinet Secretary explain how long the Vaccine underwent research in the country before being approved for administering to Kenyans considering the side effects allegedly being experienced in other countries?
  4. What is the Government’s position on the continuous use of the Vaccine considering the slow pace of uptake by Kenyans and the side effects reported in other countries and is the government making any plans to procure alternative vaccines for Kenyan citizens?

The question will be replied before the Departmental Committee on Health.

Declining National Revenue Performance

The Nominated Member (Hon. Godfrey Osotsi, MP), raised the following questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Treasury and National Planning: –

  1. Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the cause of declining national revenue performance that has led to exchequer and budgetary challenges in Government and confirm whether any organizational and managerial challenges being experienced at Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) have also contributed to the decline?
  2. Could the Cabinet Secretary provide a detailed list of all top management positions at KRA indicating the positions, names of current holders, county of origin, ethnicity, academic and professional qualifications of holders and number of years of service?
  3. Could the Cabinet Secretary further explain why the tax appeal and disputes mechanism has occasioned questionable and irregular tax reduction and avoidance in favour of some potentially large taxpayers leading to massive national revenue decline?
  4. Could the Cabinet Secretary provide a report on the status of investigations on senior KRA officials alleged to be engaging in tax fraud and confirm whether KRA management ordered a thorough and professional lifestyle audit on its staff?
  5. Could the Cabinet Secretary provide details on how much the country lost in terms of national revenue following the recent migration of ICT Platform from Legacy Environment to iTax at KRA and how was the loss mitigated?

The question will be replied before the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning.

REQUEST FOR STATEMENT

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

1) Hon. Duale Aden Bare, MP Garissa Township requested for a Statement from the Chairperson person of the Committee on Energy on the following:

  • The rate that KENGEN supply electric power to Kenya Power
  • The rate that Kenya Power procure power from the independent power producers.
  • The basis for the huge difference between the rate charged by KENGEN and the rate charged by independent power producers.
  • A list of all independent power producers including their shareholders, their directors and their physical addresses.
  • How much money has been paid to each of the independent power producers by KPLC and the Ministry of Energy since the commencement of their respective contracts with the Government of Kenya and or KPLC.
  • The urgent measures KPLC is taking to reduce the cost of electricity to households, businesses, factories and other consumers with a view to supporting the Government and the President’s Big 4 Agenda.

2) Hon. Nassir Abdullswamad Sheriff, M.P. Mvita requested the Chairpersons of the Committee on Energy and Delegated Legislation to investigate the procedures put in place by EPRA when determining the fuel prices. The Member also requested that the Committees look into the 2010 and 2012 Regulations as well as the Energy Act Petroleum Pricing with a view of amending them appropriately.

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE FOR THE COMING WEEK.

The House Business Committee has approved the following tentative business to appear in the Order Paper in the Coming Week.

Bills

The following Bills are scheduled to come up before the House for Second Reading:

  1. The Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 27 of 2020)
  2. The Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 6 of 2020)
  3. The County Governments (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No. 13 of 2018)
  4. The National Cohesion and Peace Building Bill (Senate Bill No. 35 of 2018)

The Referendum (No.2) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 14 of 2020) is scheduled to come up for a Committee of the Whole House.

Reports

The House will prioritize the following reports:

  1. Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on its consideration of the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Regulations, 2020
  2. Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on its consideration of the Value Added Tax (Electronic Tax Invoice) Regulations, 2020
  3. Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on its consideration of the Value Added Tax (Digital MarketPlace Supply) Regulations, 2020
  4. Report of the Select Committee on Parliamentary Broadcasting and Library on the Formulation of Parliamentary Broadcasting Channels
  5. Report of Joint Committee on the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2020 (BBI Bill).
SENATE

PAPERS LAID

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

  1. The Reports on the Financial Statements of Various County Executives/ Assemblies.
  2. Report of the Office of the Controller of Budget on County Governments Budget Review for the first half Financial Year 2020/2021.

COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR

The County Assemblies decisions on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Speaker of the House issued communication regarding the status of delivery by the County Assemblies, to the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament, their decisions on the draft Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, and the attendant roadmap on it on Wednesday, 3rd March, 2021. As at 2.00 p.m. of that day, a total of 34 County Assemblies had submitted to the two Speakers, resolutions by the draft Bill. The Speaker updated the House that the remaining counties have all submitted resolutions on their respective decisions on the Bill. The final result is that 43 county assemblies have submitted certificates of approval, while three county assemblies submitted certificates of rejection.

Senate’s Schedule

The Speaker noted that in the schedule of business of the Senate, the Senate will consider the Division of Revenue Bill. As is standard practice, the Bill has been introduced in the National Assembly and the Senate Business Committee will, therefore, prioritize the Bill upon receipt of a Message from the National Assembly on the matter. Shortly thereafter, the County Allocation of Revenue Bill will be introduced pursuant to Standing Orders of the Senate.

Other businesses already before the Senate include nine Bills that were read a First Time on 4th March, 2021, a total of 49 Petitions before respective Standing Committees and Statements pursuant to Standing Orders 47 and 48. The Senate will also be expecting Chairpersons of respective Standing Committees to make their quarterly reports pursuant to Standing Order 51 (1)(b).

Changes in Leadership of the Minority Coalition in the Senate

The Speaker was in receipt of a letter dated 24th March, 2021 signed by the Senate Deputy Minority Whip. The letter provides that after deliberations, the National Super Alliance (NASA) Senate Members removed, by consensus, Senator Cleophas Malalah as the serving Senate Deputy Minority Leader and elected Senator Justice (Rtd) Stewart Madzayo, as the newly elected Deputy Senate Minority Leader.

The Speaker was also in receipt of a letter dated 24th March, 2021, signed by Chairman, Amani National Congress (ANC), the Acting Secretary General (SG), Wiper Democratic Movement and the National Organizing Secretary, FORD-K seeking an intervention of the Speaker, not to confirm and suspend the unprocedural and unilateral removal of Senator Cleophas Malalah (ANC) by Senate Members of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party and changes made in the Committees by the same ODM party without consultation with its NASA parties.

However, the Speaker ruled that the matter of election and removal from office of leaders is a matter that falls within the province of the Majority and Minority Parties in respect of the respective leaders. He also indicated that the office of the Speaker is ill-equipped and totally devoid of the mandate to delve into or inquire into the internal affairs of parliamentary matters. Thus, the role of the office of the Speaker on the matter is limited to the receipt of the relevant correspondence and confirmation, that such correspondence meets the thresholds as may be set out in the Standing Orders.

Satisfied that the proposed changes were made in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order, the Speaker informed Members that Sen. Cleophas Malala, MP stands removed from the Office of the Deputy Senate Minority Leader and Sen. Stewart Madzayo, MP stands elected to the office of the Deputy Senate Minority Leader.

MESSAGES FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

The Early Childhood Education Bill (Senate Bill No. 26 of 2018)

The House was in receipt of a message on the Bill indicating that the Bill was referred to the Mediation Committee on Thursday, 1st October, 2020. The National Assembly considered and approved the Mediated Version of the said Bill in the form developed by the Mediation Committee as required by the Constitution. Therefore, the Bill will be presented to His Excellency the President for Assent.

The Care and Protection of Older Members of Society Bill (Senate Bills No. 17 Of 2018)

The Bill was passed by the Senate on Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 with amendments and referred to the National Assembly for consideration. Following the High Court ruling on 29th October, 2020, on Constitutional Petition No.284 of 2019, implementation of the judgment by the Senate commenced. Notably, the High Court ordered that all Bills for which the concurrence process contemplated under Article 110(3) of the Constitution could not be demonstrated, be ceased and that the said concurrence process be adhered to before introduction of such Bills in either House of Parliament.

The Bill was one such Bill for which the concurrence process could not be demonstrated by the time the High Court gave its judgment. As such, the Speaker directed that the Bill be republished, which it has as the Care and Protection of Older Members of Society Bill (Senate Bills No. 24 of 2020) and is currently undergoing the concurrence process pursuant to Article 110 (3) of the Constitution, following which, the Bill will be read a First Time in the Senate. In view of the foregoing, the Care and Protection of Older Members of Society Bill (Senate Bills No.17 of 2018) will not be proceeded with in the Senate.

NOTICES OF MOTIONS

Alteration of the Senate Calendar for the Fifth Session

Due to the Covi-19 wave, the House resolved to alter its Calendar (Regular Sessions) for the Fifth Session, 2021, to hold two Sittings every week on Tuesdays only (morning and afternoon) beginning from 10.00 a.m. and ending at 12.30 p.m. for the morning sitting and beginning at 2.30 p.m. and ending at 6.30 p.m. for the afternoon sitting; beginning on Tuesday 23rd March, 2021, until Tuesday, 15th June, 2021.

The Operationalization of National Construction Authority (Defects Liability) Regulations, 2020

The House was given to adopt the report of the Standing Committee on Roads and Transportation on its inquiry into the operationalization of the National Construction Authority (Defects Liability) Regulations, laid on the Table of the Senate on Thursday, 24th September, 2020.

STATEMENTS

1)  Sen. Cherargei sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Information and Technology regarding the Status of Access of Information Regulations as provided for in the Access to Information Act of 2016. The Statement was committed to the Standing Committee on Information, Communication and Technology.

2)  Sen. Cherargei sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Justice Legal Affairs and Human Rights, regarding the operationalisation of the proposed Legal Aid Fund provided for in the Legal Aid Fund Act of 2016. The Statement was committed to the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

3)  Sen. Cherargei sought a Statement from the Standing Committee on Education regarding the deplorable state of public schools in the rural areas. The Statement was committed to the Committee on Education

4)  Sen. Linturi sought a Statement from the Standing Committee on Roads and Transportation on the issue of outstanding bills owed to small contractors on roads and other related infrastructure projects. The Statement was committed to the Standing Committee on Roads and Transportation.

The Status of the Inua Jamii Programmes

Sen. Sakaja as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare made a Statement on the Inua Jamii Programme.  At the sitting of the Senate on Tuesday 2nd March, 2021, the Senator informed the House by leave of the Committee that they had received communication from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection; the State Department of Social Protection regarding the payment drive to beneficiaries under the Inua Jamii Programme that had commenced on 22nd February, 2021.  At the sitting, the Senators urged the Committee to get more details on the matter.

The Senator thus informed the House that the Committee has invited the Cabinet Secretary Labour and Social Protection together with his Principal Secretary of the said department to come and shed light on the following matters-

  1. A briefing on the payment process that commenced on 22nd February, 2021 on the challenges encountered and whether they achieved 100 percent success;
  2. The institutional framework in place to implement each of the programmes including the criteria for selection to the programmes, the implementation framework and monitoring and evaluation of these programmes;
  3. How far the State department is in the registration of older persons of society on the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to take care of the medical needs.
  4. A comprehensive report on the disbursement of the latest programme, including details of disbursement under each programme broken done to counties so that each Senator knows what is happening in their specific county and constituency level; the names, criteria used to select the amount given and historical information on the disbursement and beneficiaries;
  5. How the State department is planning to manage the transition of some of the beneficiary of the programme; orphans and vulnerable children; and
  6. What the department has done in creating databases of these special interest groups, how it manages to clean the data.

The Senators were therefore invited to a virtual meeting of the Committee on Labour Social Welfare with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection on Wednesday 24th March at 9.00 a.m.

Update on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020

Sen. Omogeni, provided an update on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020. He noted that following directives of the two Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate, the departmental Committee of Justice Legal Affairs of the National Assembly and the Senate held meetings to consider the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020. Following the meetings, both Committees received memoranda pursuant to a public invitation on public participation that took place in the sittings that were held in the House on the 12th March, 2021, 16th and 17th March 2021 to collect views of the Members of the public.

The Senator observed that the public interest participation attracted a lot of interest and they received memorandum from citizens, constitutional offices, including; Independent Electoral Boundaries and Commission (IEBC) Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the Gender Commission among many others. Thereafter, the Committee undertook a joint retreat on the 19th March, 2021 to consider the issues raised during public hearing.

After considering the views received from the public, the joint Committees identified a number of issues in six thematic areas that require in-depth consideration by the two Committees. Therefore, the Committees were not able to conclude their consideration of public views and writing of the report on the meeting that was held on 19th March, 2021. The Joint Committee is of the view that the Committee be given due consideration and where necessary get assistance from experts on constitutional matters. The Committee, therefore, agreed to adjourn its sittings and resume further sittings on the 26th, 29th, 30th and 31st of March, 2021. So far the meetings that have been held by the joint Committee have been collegial and egalitarian with the single purpose of midwifing the process forward.

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