13th November 2020 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

SPECIAL MOTION

Approval of Nominees for Appointment as High Commissioners, Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives

The House approved the appointment of the following persons as High Commissioners, Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives:

  1. Amb. John Tipis, High Commissioner to Canberra-Australia.
  2. Ms. Immaculate Wambua, High Commissioner to Ottawa-Canada.
  3. Amb.  Catherine Mwangi, High Commissioner to Pretoria-Republic of South Africa.
  4. Amb. Martin Kimani, Permanent Representative to United Nations-New York.
  5. Amb. Jean Kimani, Permanent Representative to the UN Habitat-Nairobi.
  6. Amb. Tom Amolo, Ambassador to Berlin-Germany.
  7. Mr. Lindsay Kiptiness, Ambassador to Bangkok-Thailand.
  8. Amb. Daniel Wambura, Ambassador to Bujumbura-Burundi.
  9. Ms. Stella Munyi, Ambassador to Harare-Zimbabwe.
  10. Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Samuel Nandwa, Ambassador to Juba-South Sudan.
  11. Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Ngewa Mukala, Ambassador to Khartoum-Sudan.
  12. Amb. Benson Ogutu, Ambassador to Moscow-Russia.
  13. Mr. Joshua Gatimu, Ambassador to Tehran-Iran.
  14. Amb. Tabu Irina, Ambassador to Tokyo-Japan.

NOTICE OF MOTIONS

Suspension of a Sitting Day

The House resolved to suspend the Morning Sitting of Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 10.00 am.

Inquiry into the Use of the Standard Gauge Railway

The House discussed the Report of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing on its Inquiry into the Use of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

In the Report, the Committee recommends the following:

  1. That importers should have freedom of choice on the mode of transport to be used to haul their goods from the port to the final destination without restriction from any government agency;
  2. That measures should be put in place for the full utilization of the Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC) assets;
  3. That income accrued from all idle KRC land and assets should be channeled to the Railway Development Levy Fund in order to assist in raising revenue for payment of SGR loans;
  4. That as a revenue raising measure, the Government should consider adjustment to the Railway Development Levy (RDL) to give incentives for the use of SGR. On this, the Committee proposes that importers who choose to haul their goods using the SGR be allowed pay a preferential RDL of 1.5 per cent instead of 2 per cent of the value of the goods they import as the levy is supposed to promote SGR while importers who choose to use the road transport should attract an additional surcharge of 0.3 per cent. This would mean that if one continues to use the road, instead of paying 2 per cent to the RDL, they will be required to pay 2.3 per cent;
  5. That in a bid to guide the use of SGR, increase competitiveness in the sector and promote stopover economy along the railway line, the Government should come up with a policy that will not discriminate against any user of SGR or transporter;
  6. That for the purpose of the Last Mile Connectivity, the Government should allow private investors, where possible, to extend the railway to their respective yards at their own cost;
  7. That on clearance of cargo, importers should have the freedom to nominate a licensed container freight service company for the purpose of clearing items;
  8. That the Government should initiate the process of renegotiating the loan using the opportunity available, that is, COVID19. The effects and impact of COVID-19 should be appreciated in the payment of the loan; and
  9. That the negotiation of the current operational agreement should be fast-tracked.

Inquiry into the Status of Stadia in Kenya

The House adopted the Report of the Departmental Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism on the Inquiry into the Status of Stadia in Kenya, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

NOTICE

Limitation of Debate on Bills, Motions (including Special Motions), Sessional Papers and Committee Reports 

The House resolved that during the Sittings of the House of November 3, 2020 up to and including December 3, 2020, each speech in debate on Bills, Motions (including Special Motions), Sessional Papers and Committee Reports, shall be limited as follows:- a maximum of two and half hours with not more than ten (10) minutes for the Mover in moving and five (5) minutes in replying and a maximum of five (5) minutes for any other Member speaking, except for the Leader of the Majority Party, the Leader of the Minority Party and the Chairperson of the relevant Committee who shall be limited to a maximum of ten (10) minutes, and that priority in speaking be accorded to the Leader of the Majority Party, the Leader of the Minority Party and Chairperson of the relevant Committee, in that order.

PROCEDURAL MOTION

Extension of Time for Appointment of Members to Committees

The House resolved to further extend the time for filling of the vacancies in the affected Committees by an additional 14 days from 12th November, 2020 following the recent changes in the membership of Committees of the House.

SENATE

MOTION 

Alteration of the Senate Calendar (Regular Sessions) for the Fourth Session, 2020 (Part V) 

The House resolved to alter its Calendar (Regular Sessions) for the Fourth Session, 2020, in respect of Part V, to hold one Sitting on Tuesdays, beginning on Wednesday, 11th November, 2020, until Tuesday, 1st December, 2020.  

STATEMENTS 

FINANCIAL STATUS OF DEPOSIT-TAKING COMMERCIAL BANKS

A Statement was sought from the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget regarding the financial status of deposit-taking commercial banks. In the Statement, the Committee should-

  1. Explain the measures the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has put in place to regulate fiscal policy for deposit-taking banks such as Spire Bank Limited.
  2. State penalties the CBK has put in place, if any, to be meted on commercial banks that fail to comply with the laid down regulations.
  3. Outline measures being taken by the CBK in terms of policy directions in order to cushion the banking industry from severe loss going forward.

RESUMPTION OF SPORTING ACTIVITIES IN THE COUNTRY 

A Statement was sought from the Standing Committee on Labour, Social Welfare and Human Rights regarding the resumption of sporting activities in the country. In the Statement, the Committee should-

  1. State the official resumption dates for the indoor sports and other social contact sporting activities in the country.
  2. State the health protocols set jointly by the Government and the various sports federations to cushion players from the spread of COVID-19 during the matches. 
  3. State the measures the Government has taken in mitigation and support to various sporting teams against the harsh economic effects of COVID-19. 
  4. Explain the action that will be taken against teams found culpable of violating the set health protocols. 

MONOPOLISTIC PRACTICES BY TELECOMMUNICATION COMPANY M/S SAFARICOM PLC 

A statement was sought from the Standing Committee on Information and Technology regarding the abuse of dominance by the telecommunications company Safaricom PLC. In the Statement, the Committee should:

  1. State what measures are in place to ensure there is a level playing field for players in the telecommunication industry considering that Safaricom reached over 60 percent market share through their voice, data and mobile money networks.
  2. Explain the measures taken by the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs through the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) to declare Safaricom a dominant player in the industry, and to make the country’s telecommunication sector more competitive. 
  3. State measures, if any, to prevail upon Safaricom PLC to offer access of its transmission sites to its competitors in areas where the competitors have little or no coverage because of the dominant status that they have achieved. 
  4. Determine if the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), through the Ministry of National Treasury and Planning, can strengthen mobile money interoperability and foster financial inclusivity in the country by implementing agent and merchant interoperability.