July 31, 2021 - 5 minutes read

31st July 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

By Wanjiku Mwai
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

The National Assembly is on short recess and will resume on Tuesday, 3rd August 2021 at 2.30 p.m.

SENATE

PAPERS LAID

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

  • Report of the Auditor-General for the County Governments for the Financial year 2018/2019 (Volume I) & (Volume II).
  • Annual report of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for the Financial year 2019/2020.
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget on the Prompt Payment Bill (Senate Bills No. 16 of 2021)
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Education on the Kenyan Sign Language Bill, Senate Bills No. 5 of 2021.
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare on the County Hall of Fame Bill, (Senate Bills No. 9 of 2021).
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare on an enquiry concerning a Statement raised by the Senator for Isiolo County (Sen. Fatuma Dullo, MP) on dismissal of workers by the Ewaso Ng’iro North Development Authority.
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Health on the Special Audit Report on utilization of COVID-19 funds by the county governments.

COMMUNICATIONS OF THE CHAIR

7th Annual Devolution Conference

The House was informed that the 7th Annual Devolution Conference will be held from the 23rd to 27th August, 2021 in Wote, Makueni County.

The Annual Conference enables stakeholders to evaluate the performance of National and County Government institutions on policy, legislation, accountability, good governance and service delivery among others. The theme of this year’s conference is Multi-Level Governance for Climate Action while the overall objective is to strengthen sub-national governments to act on climate change and develop stronger mitigation capacities.

This year’s Conference is unique as it is the last annual conference. As from 2023, the Conference will be held on a bi-annual basis from 2023. 

MOTIONS

Integrating Climate Education into School Curriculum at All Levels

Sen. Halake Abshiro, MP notified the House of the Motion that it is important that both the current and future generations are better equipped to address the problem of climate change. This can be accomplished by using appropriate instructional strategies such as integrating climate education into the syllabus to assist students in improving their understanding of climate change and acquiring the essential skills to reduce its effects.

Acknowledging that education is crucial to promote climate action as it helps individuals understand and address the impacts of the climate crisis, empowering them with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to act as agents of change, hence protect the environment and take action by crafting community level solutions.

Cognizant of the fact the Constitution of Kenya in Article 42 provides for the right to a clean and healthy environment for every Kenyan, which includes the right to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations.

Further noting that climate change is a global nightmare with consequences that are already quite visible, and should be a priority for our education curriculum, in accordance to Article 12 of the Paris Agreement which espouses the enhancement of climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information; Now therefore, the Senate calls upon the Council of Governors in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to: –

  1. integrate climate education in the school curriculum in all counties to equip all school going children; and
  2. equip teachers and administrators with the necessary information and training skills to teach climate education in schools.

PETITION

The House was informed of the Report of the Standing Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industrialization on a Petition by residents of Uasin Gishu County concerning the liquidation of Moi University Savings and Credit Society Limited (MUSCO).

BILLS

Second Reading

The following Bills were coming up for a Second Reading;

  • The Start-Up Bill (Senate Bills No. 1 of 2021) by Sen. Sakaja Johnson, Mp. The Bill seeks to provide a legislative framework that fosters innovative thinking, registration of start-ups, to facilitate investment, promotes an enabling environment for the establishment, development, conduct of business and regulation of start-ups.
  • The Office of the County Printer Bill (Senate Bills No. 13 of 2021) by Sen. Petronila Were Lokorio, MP. The principal object of the Bill is to establish the office of the county printer in each of the forty-seven counties. The establishment of the office is necessitated by the provisions of the County Governments Act, 2012 which makes reference to publication of Bills, Acts and other documentation in a “county gazette”.
  • The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 31 of 2020) by Chairperson, Standing Committee on Finance and Budget. The principal object of the Bill is to amend sections 7 and 9 of the Salaries and Remuneration Act, No. 10 of 2011, to provide for notification of the expiry of term for Commissioners in the Gazette and to provide for timelines for the filling of vacancies in the Commission upon the expiry of term for Commissioners.
  • The County Licensing (Uniform Procedures) Bill (Senate Bills No. 32 of 2020) by Sen. Mercy Chebeni, MP. The principal objective of the Bill is to put in place uniform procedures for licensing of various activities by counties.
  • The Prompt Payment Bill (Senate Bills No. 16 of 2021) by Sen. (CPA) Farhiya Haji and Sen. Johnson Sakaja, MP. The principal object of the Bill is to put in place a legal framework to facilitate prompt payment for supply of goods, works and services procured by government entities both at the national and county level.
  • The Natural Resources (Benefit Sharing) Bill (Senate Bills No. 25 of 2020) by Sen. (Dr.) Agnes Zani, Mp. The Bill seeks to provide a legislative framework for the establishment and enforcement of a system of benefit sharing in natural resource exploitation between natural resource exploiters, the national government, county governments and local communities and to that end provides that the Commission for Revenue Allocation oversees the same.

The following Bills came up for Division. They were accordingly voted on and passed. As such, the Bills were read for the Second Time.

  • The County Vocational Education and Training Bill (Senate Bills No. 6 of 2021) by the Chairperson, Standing Committee On Education
  • The Basic Education (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 4 of 2021) by Sen. Beatrice Kwamboka, Mp)
  • The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood) Bill (Senate Bills No. 7 of 2021) by the Chairperson, Standing Committee On Tourism, Trade and Industrialization
  • The Start-Up Bill (Senate Bills No. 1 of 2021) by Sen. Sakaja Johnson, Mp)
  • The Office of the County Printer Bill (Senate Bills No. 13 of 2021) by Sen. Petronila Were Lokorio, Mp)
  • The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 31 of 2020) by the Chairperson, Standing Committee On Finance and Budget) (Second Reading
  • The County Licensing (Uniform Procedures) Bill (Senate Bills No. 32 of 2020) by Sen. Mercy Chebeni, Mp.

The following Bills came up for the Committee of the Whole House. The Committee considered the Bills and sought leave to sit again.

  • The Wildlife Conservation and Management (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 30 of 2020) by Sen. Johnes Mwaruma, Mp.
  • The Community Health Services Bill (Senate Bills No. 34 of 2020) by (Sen. (Dr.) Agnes Zani, Mp.
  • The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 33 of 2020) by Sen. (Dr.) Agnes Zani, Mp.
  • The National Flag, Emblems and Names (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 36 of 2020) by Sen.(Dr.) Agnes Zani, Mp.
  • The Coffee Bill (Senate Bills No. 22 of 2020) by Chairperson, Standing Committee On Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

STATEMENTS

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

  • High Court Petition No. 284 of 2019

Sen. Mogeni Erick Okong’o Omogeni, notified the House that on the 29th June, 2019 the House passed a Motion that the Senate File Petition No. 284 of 2019 that was later consolidated with Petition 353 of 2019. Whereas the Senate was challenging a number of Acts from the National Assembly that was passed without compliance of Article 110 (3) of the Constitution that makes it a condition precedent of the two House to have concurrence before Bills are processed by either House. 

On 29th August, 2020, a favourable judgement was issued by the High Court, whereof 29 Acts of Parliament were declared null and void for that non-compliance with the provision of the Constitution. The National Assembly being unsatisfied with the outcome of the High Court, proceeded to file a Civil Appeal No. E284 of 2021 that has been pending before the Court of Appeal.  The arguments and submissions were concluded on Tuesday 27th July, 2021 and the Court of Appeal reserved Judgement for the said Appeal for the 5th November, 2021.

The Justices of the Court of Appeal also directed that the Status quo do remain in force in terms of the 23 Bills that were nullified by the High Court to remain in force pending the delivery of the Court of Appeal’s.

  • Policy on Merging Registration of Centres for National Examinations.

The Senator for Bomet County (Sen. (Dr.) Christopher Langat, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Education concerning the Ministry of Education policy on merging registration of centres for national examinations.

  • Risks Posed by Floods

Nominated Senator (Sen. Rose Nyamunga, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Roads and Transportation concerning risks posed by floods along the Ayweyo and Kolunga sections of the Isebania-Kisii-Ahero (A1) road.

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