January 8, 2021 - 5 minutes read

8th January 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

By The Vellum Team
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

The House is currently on recess and will resume on Tuesday, February 09, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. However, on Tuesday, December 22, 2020, the House held a special sitting and deliberated on some of the matters highlighted below.

 PAPERS LAID

The following papers were laid on the table of the National Assembly on 22nd December 2020 among others:

  • Memorandum on Economic Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Kenya and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;
  • Legal Notice No. 206 of 2020 of the Value Added Tax (Amendment) of the Rate of Tax Order, 2020;
  • Annual Report for the year 2018-2019 for the East African Portland Cement PLC
  • The Performance Audit Report on Installation and maintenance of Road Furniture by the Kenya National Highways Authority, Kenya urban RoadsAuthority and the Kenya Rural Roads Authority;
  • Report of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on its consideration of the Tax Laws (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 48 of 2020);
  • Report of the Departmental Committee on Delegated Legislation on its recommendation of the Value Added Tax (Amendment) of the Rate of Tax Order, 2020 – Legal Notice No. 206 of 2020.
  • Report of the Departmental Committee on Sports Culture and Tourism on its consideration of the Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (National Assembly Bill No. 51 of 2020);
  • Legal Notice No. 207 of 2020 relating to the Income Tax Digital Service Tax regulations of 2020 from the National Treasury; and
  • The Draft Breast Milk Substitutes Regulations and Control General Regulations of 2020 from the Ministry of Health.

 CONSIDERATION OF BUSINESS RECEIVED DURING THE RECESS PERIOD

It is noteworthy that on 3rd December, 2020, the House resolved that during the period of the long recess (4th December 2020 – 8th February 2021):

  • 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, refer such Bill to the relevant committee for consideration 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; and
  • Should any statutory instrument be transmitted for tabling before the House during the period, the Speaker shall, following a determination that the statutory instrument is of priority, 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).

 The Resolution also meant that all the business requiring a First Reading before it is committed to a Committee can be committed to a Committee without coming to the House.

Following the above Resolution, the following Instruments were determined as priority Bills in the House:

  • The Tax Laws (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2020 – The Bill was published on 27th November 2020. It was then committed to the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning for consideration.
  • The Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill, 2020(National Assembly Bill No. 51 of 2020) – The Bill published on 7th December, 2020 and committed to the Departmental Committee on Sports Culture and Tourism for consideration.
  • The Value Added Tax (Amendment) of the Rate of Tax Order, 2020 – The Order was submitted by Cabinet Secretary National Treasury and Planning for tabling and consideration by the National Assembly. It was committed to the Departmental Committee on Delegated Legislation.

PETITION

VARIATION OF BOUNDARIES OF NGONG ROAD FOREST LAND

The House was informed of a Petition, presented by Hon.  Nixon Korir, Member of Parliament, Langata Constituency on behalf of the residents of Sunvalley Phases I, II and III, Royal Park Estate, Shalom Estate and Forest Edge View Estate within Mugumoini Ward on alleged repossession of land in Langata Constituency, Nairobi County. The Petition was subsequently committed to the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources for its consideration. The Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, considered the Petition and tabled a report where it made various observations and recommendations. In particular, the Committee recommended that-

The law relating to declaration that a forest area shall cease to be a forest area with respect to the area of land upon which KMA Estate, Langata Gardens Estate, Langata View Estate, Shalom Estate, St Mary’s Hospital, Forest Edge View Estate, Langata Women’s Prison, the Police Dog Unit, Bomas of Kenya, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya and International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) should be complied with and the land should be excised pursuant to the provisions of Section 34 of the Forest Conservation and Management Act, Act No. 34 of 2016 to support the realisation of the National Government’s Big four Agenda on Housing and stop further encroachment of Ngong Road Forest through the practice of allocation and subsequent surrender of land between Government Departments , under paragraph 161 of the aforementioned Report.”

The Petition was based on the Report of the Committee and was seeking the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report. Section 34(1) of the Forest Conservation and Management Act No. 34 of 2016 provides that “any person may petition the National Assembly, for the variation of boundaries of a public forest or the revocation of the registration of a public forest or a portion of a public forest.” The Petitioners therefore sought to petition the House for the variation of the boundaries of the Ngong Road Forest pursuant to Section 34(1) of the Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016.

 In addition, in line with the requirements of Section 34(2) of the Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016, the Petitioners averred that the variation of the boundaries of the proposed area of Ngong Road Forest would not endanger any rare, threatened or endangered species, adversely affect its value as a water catchment area, prejudice biodiversity conservation, cultural site protection of the forest or its use for educational, recreational, health or research purposes.  The residents also continuously engage the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the Kenya Forest Service and have never received a response that was satisfactory. The Petitioners also noted that the matter presented in the Petition is not pending before any court of law, constitutional or legal body. Thus, the petitioners prayed that:

  • The Committee recommend, pursuant to Section 34(1) of the Forest Conservation and Management Act the variation of the boundaries of Ngong Road Forest to excise therefore the 34 acres of the area of land upon which KMA Estate, Langata Gardens Estate, Langata View Estate, Shalom Estate, St Mary’s Hospital, Forest Edge View Estate, the Langata Women’s Prison, the Police Dog Unit, Bomas of Kenya, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya and International Centre of Insect Physiology are located;
  • The House directs the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry to forthwith suspend any proposed action on the said 34 acres until the House considers the Petition;
  • The House directs the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry to commence the actualization of paragraph (1) of the petitioners’ prayers, including carrying out of an independent Environmental Impact Assessment and wide public consultation as required under Section 34(3) of the Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016;
  • Upon the House approving the prayers contained in paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) of the Petition and any further recommendation the House may make, the House directs that the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to submit a report to the House after every 30 days to apprise the House on the process of variation of the boundaries of the Ngong Road Forest; and,
  • The Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources make any other resolutions that may be determined as appropriate.

The Petition was referred to the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to make appropriate investigations, inquiries and act as necessary.

 MOTION

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

The House adopted 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 approved the Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Government of the Republic of Mauritius.

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

The House adopted 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 approved the Accession to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance by the Republic of Kenya.

APPROVAL OF THE VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT OF THE RATE OF TAX) ORDER, 2020

The House adopted the Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on its consideration of the Value Added Tax (Amendment of the Rate of Tax) Order, 2020, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, December 22, 2020, and pursuant to the provisions of sections 6 and 67 of the Value Added Tax Act, 2013 approved the Value Added Tax (Amendment of the Rate of Tax) Order, 2020 published as Legal Notice No. 206 of 2020.

The main purpose of the Order is to fulfill the revenue shortfalls. It amends the Value Added Tax Order by revising it upwards from 14% to 16%.

REDUCTION OF PUBLICATION PERIOD OF A SPECIFIED BILL

The House resolved to reduce the publication period of the Business Laws (Amendment)(No.2) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 50 of 2020) from 14 days to 8 days.

 BILLS

THE COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 30 0F 2020)

By the Hon. Martin Peters Owino, M.P.

The Bill was coming up for a First Reading. It makes provision for the training, registration and licensing of community health workers; to regulate their practice; to provide for the establishment, powers and functions of the Community Health Workers Council of Kenya.

THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND ASSET DISPOSAL (AMENDMENT) (No. 2) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 34 OF 2020)

By the Hon Richard Tongi, M.P.

The Bill was coming up for a First Reading. It seeks to amend various provisions of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act No.33 of 2015 on reservations and preferences. It also mandates procuring entities to require successful bidders to give preference to Kenyan brokerage firms where brokerage services are required.

THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 40 OF 2020)

By the Hon. Jeremiah Kioni, M.P.

The Bill was coming up for a First Reading. The Principal object of the Bill is to amend the Constitution in order to allow the President to appoint Cabinet Secretaries from among Members of Parliament. It further seeks to empower the President to assign the Attorney-General the duties of a Cabinet Secretary. The Bill further seeks to amend Article 179 of the Constitution to allow a county governor to appoint members of the county assembly as members of his or her county executive committee and to make members of the county executive committees accountable to the people through the county assembly.

THE ALCOHOLIC DRINKS CONTROL (AMENDMENT) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 35 OF 2020)

By the Hon. Danson Mwakuoma, M.P.)

The Bill was coming up for a First Reading. The principal object of the Bill is to amend the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, No. 10 of 2010 in order to ensure that packaging of alcoholic drinks is in quantities not below seven hundred and fifty (750) milliliters. The Bill further seeks to provide for deposit refund scheme for the purchase of alcoholic drinks in glass bottles.

THE PUBLIC DEBT MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 36 OF 2020)

 By the Hon. Sakwa Bunyasi, M.P.

The Bill was coming up for a First Reading. The principal object of the Bill is to establish the Public Debt Management Authority as an independent body to manage the public debt in the country at both levels of government. The Authority shall be managed by a Board whose Chairperson shall be appointed by the President upon approval of Parliament. The Board shall also recruit a Registrar whose functions shall include to establish and maintain separate registers for loans, guarantees and securities in which shall be recorded details of all loans, guarantees and securities issued by or on behalf of the national and county governments.

Further, the Bill also sets out the conditions to be fulfilled before the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury or the County Executive Member for Finance raises a loan, issues securities or guarantees a loan. The national government may only borrow money for the budget as approved by Parliament and the allocations for loans approved by Parliament. In addition, the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury or the County Executive Member for Finance must obtain the concurrence of the Authority before borrowing money.

THE INFORMATION COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY PRACTITIONERS BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 38 OF 2020)

By the Hon. Godfrey Osotsi, M.P.

The Bill was coming up for a First Reading.  The principal object of the Bill is to establish a legal framework for the training, registration, licensing, practice and standards of Information Communication Technology (ICT) professionals in Kenya.

THE BUSINESS LAWS (AMENDMENT) (No. 2) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 50 OF 2020)

By the Leader of the Majority Party

The Bill was coming up for a First Reading. It seeks to make several amendments to various statutes to facilitate the ease of doing business in Kenya. The statutes include:

  • The Law of Contract Act (Cap. 23)
  • The Industrial Training Act (Cap. 237);
  •  The Stamp Duty Act (Cap. 480);
  • The National Hospital Insurance Fund Act, 1998 (No. 9 of 1998);
  • The National Construction Authority Act, 2011 (No. 41 of 2011);
  • The Land Registration Act, 2012 (No. 3 of 2012);
  • The National Social Security Fund Act, 2013 (No. 45 of 2013);
  •  The Companies Act, 2015 (No. 17 of 2015);
  • The Insolvency Act, 2015 (No. 18 of 2015); and
  • The Small Claims Court Act, 2016 (No. 2 of 2016).

THE TAX LAWS (AMENDMENT) (No. 2) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 48 OF 2020)

By the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance & National Planning.

The Bill was coming up for a First Reading. The principal object of the Bill is to amend the Third Schedule to the Income Tax Act, Cap. 470 to reverse income taxes, specifically Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Corporation Tax to the rates that existed before the enactment of the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020(pre-Covid.) However, being a priority Bill, the Bill was consequently read for the Second Time and Committed to the Committee of the Whole House. At the Committee level, new amendments to the Bill were introduced among others. They include new income tax bands and new tax rates as follows:

  • On the first Shs. 288,000 – 10%
  • On the next shs 100,000 – 25%
  • Above shs 388,000 – 30%

The Committee of the Whole House considered the bill and approved it with amendments. The Bill was accordingly read a third time and passed.

THE ANTI-DOPING (AMENDMENT) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 51 OF 2020)

(The Leader of the Majority Party) The Bill was coming up for a First Reading. The principal object of the Bill is to amend the Anti-Doping Act, 2016 to harmonize the legislative framework with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and Regulations. Being a priority Bill, it was consequently read the Second Time and Committed to the Committee of the Whole House. The Committee approved the Bill without amendments and it was accordingly read for the third time and passed.

SENATE

The House is currently on recess and will resume on Tuesday, February 09, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. However, over the Christmas Holiday, the House held several special sittings and deliberated on some of the matters highlighted below.

PAPERS LAID

The Report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries on the National Assembly Amendments to the Tea Bill (Senate Bills No.36 of 2018) was laid on the table of the Senate on Monday, 21st December, 2020.

MOTION

CONSIDERATION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AMENDMENTS TO THE TEA BILL (SENATE BILLS NO. 36 OF 2018)

The House was informed that the Tea Bill (Senate Bills No. 36 of 2018) was passed by the Senate on 12th June, 2019 and referred to the National Assembly for concurrence. The Speaker of the House received a Message from the Speaker of the National Assembly regarding the approval of the Tea Bill (Senate Bills No. 36 of 2018) by the Assembly, with amendments.  The House thus considered the Motion which would not be amended, except as contemplated in Standing Order No.159(2). The effect of an amendment under Standing Order No. 159(2) would be to defer consideration of the National Assembly amendments to a future date. The House approved the Motion and as such, the Bill proceeded to the Committee of the Whole, to consider the amendments of the National Assembly to the Bill. It is notable that if the Bill passes as amended, the Speaker shall refer the Bill to the President within seven days for assent. If the amendments are rejected, the Speaker shall refer the Bill to a Mediation Committee under Article 113 of the Constitution. It is also noteworthy that if the National Assembly amendments are passed in the Committee of the Whole and the report is adopted, the House will not proceed to Third Reading as the Senate had already previously passed the Bill at Third Reading.

MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

PASSAGE BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, OF THE ANTI-DOPING (AMENDMENT) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILLS NO. 51 OF 2020)

The House was notified of a Message from the Speaker of the National Assembly regarding the passage by the National Assembly of the Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bills No. 51 of 2020). The Message is dated 23rd December, 2020 and noted that

The Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bills No. 51 of 2020) was published vide Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 229 of 7th December, 2020 as a Bill proposing to amend the Anti-Doping Act (No. 5 of 2016, to broaden the application for the Act and put in place an enhanced results management system for anti-doping rule violations in compliance with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code, amongst other provisions. The National Assembly considered the Bill in all stages and passed it on Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, without amendments. The Bill was thus referred to the Senate for consideration in accordance with the provisions of Article 110(4) of the Constitution and Standing Order No.142 of the National Assembly Standing Order.

BILLS

THE TEA BILL (SENATE BILLS NO. 36 OF 2018)

The Bill was coming up for a Committee of the Whole to consider the National Assembly Amendments.

The principle object of the Bill is to liberalize the tea industry through the reorganization of the tea industry by transitioning of the regulatory and commercial roles currently undertaken by the Agriculture and Food Authority to the Tea Regulatory Authority of Kenya.

The Committee of the Whole considered the amendments and adopted the report.

THE ANTI-DOPING (AMENDMENT) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILLS NO.51 OF 2020)

The Bill was coming up for a First Reading.

The principal object of the Bill is to amend the Anti-Doping Act, 2016 to harmonize the legislative framework with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and Regulations. The Bill was consequently read the Second Time and Committed to the Committee of the Whole House. The Committee approved the Bill without amendments and it was accordingly read for the third time and passed.

Spread the love