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4th December 2020 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

PAPERS LAID

The following papers were laid on the table of the National Assembly on 26th November 2020 among others:

  • Report of the Auditor General on Financial Statement in respect of the Cash Transfer program for orphans and vulnerable children IDEA grant No.097272-KE;
  • Report of the Committee on Member Services and Facilities on the study visit to the retreat Assembly of Republic of Canada on 14-18th October and study visit to the Parliament of Turkey on 14th – 20th October 2019;
  • Report of the Departmental Committee of Labour and Social Welfare on its consideration of the Employment Amendment Bill NA No. 79 of 2019;
  • Report of the Departmental Committee of Labour and Social Welfare on its Fact finding visit on social protection measures put in place by the government in combating Covid-19 Pandemic in Coastal region;
  • Report of the Departmental Committee of Finance and National Planning on its consideration of the agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Government of the Republic of Mauritius;
  • Report of the Committee on Administration of National Security on its consideration of Narcotic Drugs of the Psychotropic substances (Control Amendment Bill, 2020); and
  • Report to Parliament on all new loans contracted by the Government of Kenya from 1st May 2020 to 31st August 2020. This Report was referred to the Budget and Appropriations Committee for consideration.

STATEMENTS

A statement was requested from the Departmental Committee on Defense and Foreign Relations on the Diplomatic Relations between Kenya and Somalia.

The Departmental Committee on Health was tasked with dealing with the following questions raised to the Cabinet Secretary for Health:

  • Whether the Cabinet Secretary is aware of the sale of a highly addictive nicotine product with the brand name ―LYFT‖ which is sold in pouches in retail outlets countrywide;
  • What action, if any, has the Ministry taken to ensure that the sale of this product is restricted to adults, considering that the target market seems to be the unsuspecting minors and youth, causing adverse health complications, addictions and increased school dropout rates;
  • Whether the Cabinet Secretary could clarify whether the product is registered as a drug in Kenya and confirm whether sufficient tests have been conducted with respect to its purity and grade of ingredients used in its manufacture?
  • What are the recorded short and long-term side effects of “LYFT nicotine pouches” on humans and how has the Ministry sensitized the public about the side effects?

The Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives was tasked with dealing with the following questions raised to the Cabinet Secretary or Industry, Trade and Cooperatives: –

  • Could the Cabinet Secretary explain measures being implemented by the Government to develop and promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enable them compete internationally?
  • What progress has the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP) made in linking emerging SMEs to global academicians, researchers and financial institutions nationally?

MOTIONS

APPROVAL OF AGREEMENT FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION BETWEEN KENYA AND MAURITIUS

The House was given Notice to adopt the Report of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on its consideration of the Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Government of the Republic of Mauritius, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 and pursuant to the provisions of section 8(4) of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, 2012 approves the Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Government of the Republic of Mauritius. 

EXEMPTION OF BUSINESS FROM THE PROVISIONS OF STANDING ORDERS 141 AND 227

Following the long recess from December 4, 2020 to February 8, 2021; and taking cognizance of the implications of the Judgment in Nairobi High Court Constitutional Petition Number 284 of 2019 as consolidated with Nairobi High Court Constitutional Petition Number 353 of 2019 on suspension of the consideration of all Bills pending in both Houses of Parliament until the requirement of concurrence is first fulfilled; and further noting the decrease in the number of Sitting days of the House due to the COVID-19 pandemic;  and pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 256 (Exemption of Business from the Standing Orders), the House resolved –

  • to exempt all Bills pending at various stages of consideration in the House from the provisions of Standing Order 141(2) (Lapse and Re-introduction of Bills) during the period of the Fourth and the Fifth Sessions; and,
  • that, with respect to all Public Petitions pending before Committees of the House, the counting of the sixty days consideration period prescribed under Standing Order 227(2) (Committal of Petitions) shall adjourn today and resume when the House next sits in the Fifth Session.

INQUIRY INTO THE UTILIZATION OF THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH IN THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2019/20 FOR THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The House adopted Report of the Departmental on Health on its Inquiry into the Utilization of the Funds Appropriated to the Ministry of Health in the Financial Year 2019/20 for the Control and Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic, with Focus on the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, October 1, 2020, ―subject to insertion of the following further Recommendations:

PPEs held by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority

  1. That, within fourteen days (14 days) of the House adopting this Report, the Ministry of Health reviews the status of all Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) held by Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) with a view to distributing the same to all public hospitals guided by the respective COVID-19 caseload, for use frontline medical staff in public hospitals;
  2. That, thereafter, all public hospitals should not charge any Kenyan citizen admitted in their facilities due COVID-19 the cost of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used while undergoing treatment; Provision of Group Life Insurance Cover;
  3. That, within seven (7) days of adoption of this Report, the National Treasury and the Ministry of Health remits the Kshs 500 million to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) as approved by National Assembly in the Supplementary Appropriation Act (No. 2) of 2020 for the provision of Group Life Insurance Cover by National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Scheme, that includes COVID-19 cover for all medical staff working in all Counties and the National Referral Hospitals;
  4. That, within twenty-one (21) days of receiving the Kshs 500 million for the Group Life insurance Cover, the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) ensures that all medical staff in the counties and national referral hospitals are placed under the Group Life insurance Cover; Comprehensive Medical Cover;
  5. That, within the fourteen days (14 days) of the House adopting this report, the Council of Governors ensures that all the nineteen (19) counties that have no medical cover for its medical staff, sign-up for the Comprehensive Medical Cover through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF);
  6. That the National Treasury and Council of Governors establishes a centralized pool of medical cover through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Comprehensive Medical Scheme for all county medical staff. The Scheme should be in place at the beginning of the Financial Year 2021/22 and that the Ministry of Health and Counties do make provisions of the same in their respective FY 2021/22 budgets

Medical staff Allowances

  1. That, within the fourteen (14) days of adoption of this Report, the Ministry of Health and Governing Councils of University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Moi University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology pays all pending Call Allowances to doctors as per the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the Return-ToWork Formula of March 14, 2017, signed between the Ministry of Health, Council of Governors and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union;
  2. That, within the fourteen days (14 days) of adoption of this Report, the Ministry of Health engages the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) on the need to enhance the Risk allowance for medical staff with a view to replacing the COVID-19 allowance for frontline medical staff that was initially paid for the three (3) months but lapsed in June 2020; Facemask for the most vulnerable
  3. That, within the fourteen days (14 days) of adoption of this Report, the Ministry of Health ensures that the procurement of reusable facemask worth Kshs 300 million for vulnerable persons in the society is concluded and the masks be distributed to all students in public schools, the needy and vulnerable persons in the country; and, Medical Insurance Cover and Arrears for Contract staff;
  4. That, within the fourteen (14) days of adoption of this Report, the Ministry of Health ensures that all medical staff employed on contract for handling isolation facilities are provided with a NHIF Comprehensive Medical Cover, and further, all their pending salary arrears from August 2020 are paid promptly. Lead Agency in Investigations
  5. That, where two or more agencies are recommended to undertake investigations, the Ethics and Anti-Corruptions Commission shall be the Lead Agency. 

APPROVAL OF THE CONVENTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL HYDROGRAPHIC ORGANIZATION

The House adopted Report of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations on its consideration of the Accession to the Convention on the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, and pursuant to the provisions of section 8(4) of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, 2012 approved the Accession to the Convention on the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) by the Republic of Kenya.

 APPROVAL OF THE ACCESSION TO THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON DEMOCRACY, ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE

The House was given Notice to adopt the Report of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations on its consideration of the Accession to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, and pursuant to the provisions of section 8(4) of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, 2012 approves the Accession to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance by the Republic of Kenya.

CONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN BUSINESS RECEIVED DURING THE RECESS PERIOD OF 4TH DECEMBER 2020 TO 8TH FEBRUARY 2021

The House was notified and consequently agreed to the following orders that, during the period of the long Recess (December 4, 2020 – February 8, 2021)-:

  • Upon receipt of any Message from the Senate, or upon receipt of any name of a person nominated for appointment to a state or public office from the President or any other office in the National Executive, the Speaker shall forthwith refer such Message to the relevant Committee for consideration, without having to recall the House;
  • Should a Bill be published during the said period, or a published Bill becomes due for First Reading during the period, the Speaker shall, upon lapse of at least three days following the publication of the Bill and following a determination that such Bill is of priority, forthwith refer such Bill to the relevant Committee for consideration pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 127 (Committal of Bills to Committees and public participation) and upon resumption of the House, cause the Bill to be read a First Time and the Second Reading may be taken forthwith, or on such other day as the House Business Committee may determine;
  • Should any statutory instrument be transmitted for tabling before the House during the period, the Speaker shall, following a determination that the statutory instruments is of priority, forthwith refer the statutory instrument to the relevant Committee for consideration and cause the statutory instrument to be tabled in the House upon it next Sitting in accordance with the provisions of section 11 of the Statutory Instruments Act (No. 3 of 2013); and
  • Should the Speaker receive a Message relating to the Senate’s Amendments to a Bill originating in the National Assembly, the Speaker shall forthwith refer the Schedule of the Senate Amendments to the relevant Committee for consideration pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 145 (Senate amendments to Bills originating in the National Assembly), and, upon resumption of the House, report such fact to the House.

BILLS

THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 15 OF 2020) 

The Bill was coming up for a Second Reading.

It was noted that the Bill would proceed excluding Parts withdrawn following joint resolution of the Speakers of the Houses of Parliament under Article 110(3) of the Constitution in addition to Parts withdrawn by the Leader of the Majority Party as follows:

1) Parts withdrawn following joint resolution of the Speakers under Article 110(3) of the Constitution. All provisions proposing to amend the following Statutes as contained in the Bill-

  • The Housing Act (Cap. 117);
  • The Basic Education Act, 2013 (No. 14 of 2013);
  • The Political Parties Act 2011 (No. 11 of 2011); and,
  • The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 (No. 33 of 2015).

2) Parts withdrawn by the Leader of the Majority Party on 15th July, 30th July and 28th August 2020, with Speaker’s consent. All provisions proposing to amend the following Statutes as contained in the Bill-

  • The Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 75);
  • The Evidence Act (Cap 80);
  • The Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003;
  • The Public Officers Ethics Act, 2003;
  • The Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2009;
  • The Counter Trafficking in Persons Act, 2012;
  • The Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012;
  • The Bribery Act, 2016;
  • The Film and Stage Play Act (Cap. 222); and
  • The Energy Act, 2019.

The Bill was read for the Second time and was consequently committed to the Committee of the Whole House where it was deliberated upon and was accordingly read the third time.

 SENATE AMENDMENTS TO THE SECTIONAL PROPERTIES BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 23 OF 2019)

The Bill was coming up for a Committee of the Whole House to deliberate on the Senate’s amendment to the Bill. The Principal object of the Bill is to provide for the division of buildings into units to be owned by individual proprietors and common property to be owned by proprietors of the units as tenants in common, to provide for the use and management of the units and common property and address the contemporary challenges associated with ownership of property in a sectional property environment.

The Bill was passed by the National Assembly on 9th October 2019 and thereafter conveyed to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate considered the Bill on 9th October 2020 and conveyed Amendments to the Bill to the Departmental committee on lands on 15th October 2020. The proposed amendments were:

THAT, clause 12 of the Bill be amended by deleting sub clause (5) and substituting therefor the following new sub clause – (5) Before registering a proposed sectional plan of subdivision or consolidation, the Registrar shall amend, in the manner prescribed by the regulations, the original sectional plan as endorsed by a surveyor.”

The Committee of the Whole House considered and adopted the Amendments from the Senate. 

COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR

 NOTIFICATION OF RECESS

The Speaker of the House notified the Members that:

  • Regular sittings of the House will resume on Tuesday, February 09, 2021 at 2:30 p.m; and;
  • Sittings of Committees will adjourn on Friday, December 11, 2020 and resume on Monday, February 1, 2021;
SENATE

STATEMENTS

  • A statement was raised regarding alleged refusal by insurance companies to cover patients affected by COVID-19 in hospitals beyond the designated government facilities;
  • A Statement was made concerning global efforts to eradicate cervical cancer;
  • A Statement was requested from the Departmental Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industrialization on the protection of local investor in multinationals companies in Kenya with a case example of Sport Pesa Global Holdings Limited;
  • A statement was sought from the Standing Committee on Roads and Transportation concerning road safety;
  • A statement was sought from the Standing Committee on Health on the status of funds allocated to county governments, as donations by the international community, to aid in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic;
  • A statement was sought from the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget regarding the quality of the new generation currency notes;
  • A statement was sought from the Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations concerning security along the Kenyan borders.
  • A statement was sought from the Standing Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industrialization concerning alleged failure by M/S Trident Insurance Company Limited to settle claims.
  • A Statement was mad in regards to the Commemoration of World Aid Day in the Context of Covid-19 Pandemic. 

MOTIONS

PROVISION OF MONTHLY STIPEND AND OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES TO CANCER PATIENTS IN IDENTIFIED COUNTY HOSPITALS

The House was informed that in Kenya, cancer is estimated to be the third leading cause of death after infectious and cardio-vascular diseases, with the annual incidence of cancer closing in on 37,000 new cases with an annual mortality of 28,000. Further, that the economic impact of cancer is significant, and is increasing with staggering consequences occasioned by increased medical costs, lost income, and the financial, physical and emotional burden placed on families and caregivers during treatment time.

Acknowledging that Kenya is among the state parties that signed and ratified the Abuja Declaration that affirmed that state parties shall set aside at least 15% of their annual budget to improve the health sector, and that Article 43(1)(a) of the Constitution of Kenya states that everyone has a right to the highest attainable standards of health; Noting that, the Mission of the Ministry of Health National Cancer Control Strategy 2016-2020 is to implement a coordinated and responsive cancer control framework that leads to the reduction in incidence, morbidity and mortality through effective partnerships for collaborations for prevention, diagnostics, treatment, palliation and financing of cancer control activities to improve wellbeing of Kenyans; Concerned that gaps in the existing legislative framework such as discriminatory practices in the form of coverage limits and bureaucracies by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and private insurance firms that result in delayed diagnosis, incomplete cancer treatments and inadequate follow-ups that contribute to poor outcomes for cancer patients; Therefore, the Senate calls upon the Ministry of Health in partnership with the Council of Governors to:

  • Incorporate county cancer support services in their annual development plan;
  • Partner with stakeholders to create support including counseling services; and
  • Provide cancer patients with free prescriptions, wigs for those who have lost their hair, improvised breasts where applicable, and a subsidy for prostheses.

THE REPORT OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BUILDING BRIDGES TO A UNITED KENYA TASKFORCE

The House adopted the Report of the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights on the Constitutional amendments proposed in the Report of the Steering Committee on the Implementation of the Building Bridges to a United Kenya Taskforce Report, laid on the Table of the House.

ADJOURNMENT OF THE SENATE

It was noted that pursuant to Standing Orders 28 and 29, the Senate adjourns until Tuesday, 9th February, 2021.

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