July 23, 2021 - 5 minutes read

23rd 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:

  • Report of the Standing Committee on Education on the Basic Education (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 4 of 2021);
  • Annual Report of the Commission on Administrative Justice for the Financial Year 2019/2020;
  • National Government Budget Implementation Review Report for the First Nine Months for Financial Year 2020/2021;
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries on the Coffee Bill (Senate Bills No. 22 of 2020)

MESSAGES

The House received a message from the National Assembly regarding the passage of the Public Private Partnerships Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 6 of 2021). The Bill was published vide Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 19 of 26th February 2021 as a Bill to provide for the participation of the Private Sector in the Financing, Construction, Development or Maintenance of infrastructure or development projects through Public Private Partnerships to streamline the regulatory framework for Public Private Partnerships to repeal the Public Private Partnership Act.

The National Assembly considered and passed the Bill on Wednesday, 30th June with amendments. As such, the Bill will be proceeded with by the Senate in the same manner as a Bill introduced in the Senate by way of First Reading.

MOTIONS

Promotion of Mental Health Facilities for Mothers

Sen. (Arch.) Sylvia Kasanga, MP, informed the House of the Motion that according to the World Health Organization, globally 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental condition, referred to as perinatal depression, which is higher in developing countries with 15.6% during pregnancy, and 19.8% after child birth.

Further, women who go through still birth and those that lose their children during delivery are taken to the general maternity ward where other mothers with healthy babies are recovering, causing them mental anguish and adversely impacting their mental health. Noting that integrating mental health care into primary healthcare settings requires training in psychiatric care and providing consulting support to primary care providers, considering that there are not enough mental health care providers to meet the current and growing need for mental health services.

The Health Act under section 6 (1) (b) provides that every person has a right to reproductive health care which includes the right of access to appropriate health care services that will enable mothers go safely through pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period which should include the integration of mental health in perinatal care as recommended by the National Mental Health Taskforce in its “Mental Health and Wellbeing towards Happiness and National Prosperity” report. Therefore, the Senate urges the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Council of Governors to:

  1. Ensure that all county maternal health facilities allocate a separate ward for recovery for the mothers who have gone through still birth or those that have lost their babies during delivery;
  2. Facilitate continuous mental health training and the provision of counselling support in the perinatal wards for all primary care providers in all counties; and
  3. Establish counselling facilities at all county health facilities providing counselling therapy to mothers who lose their children through a miscarriage, during delivery, or through still birth.

BILLS

First Reading

Orders for the First Reading of the Public Private Partnerships Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 6 of 2021 by the Senate Majority Leader were read for the first time and the Bill was ordered to be referred to the relevant Committee;

Second Reading

The following Bills were coming up for a Second Reading;

  • The Coffee Bill (Senate Bills No. 22 of 2020) by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries). The principle object of the Bill is to provide for the development and regulation of the Coffee industry in Kenya.
  • The Basic Education (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 4 of 2021) by Sen. Beatrice Kwamboka, Mp – The Bill seeks to amend the Basic Education Act to ensure that school going children in Kenya are provided with milk.
  • The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood) Bill (Senate Bills No. 7 of 2021) by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industrialization). The Bill seeks to provide a framework to regulate the business of street vending in the country.

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 National Flag, Emblems and Names (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 36 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 Community Health Services Bill (Senate Bills No. 34 of 2020) by Sen. (Dr.) Agnes Zani, MP.
  • The Investment Promotion (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 2 of 2021) by Sen. (Dr.) Alice Milgo, MP.
  • The Coffee Bill (Senate Bills No. 22 Of 2020) by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

STATEMENTS

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

  • Implementation of Junior Level of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

Nominated Senator Sen. Petronila Were Lokorio, MP, sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Education concerning the state of preparedness of the Ministry of Education to implement the junior secondary level of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). In the Statement, the Committee should;

  1. Explain the extent to which teachers who are to teach at the Junior Secondary Level have been trained to handle CBC;
  2. Provide statistics on the teachers who have undergone CBC and their distribution country wide;
  3. State whether adequate infrastructure has been put in place for the intake of pupils in junior high schools across the country in the two coming years;
  4. Outline the role (if any) that will be played by the current primary schools in the role out of CBC Curriculum in junior Secondary schools;
  5. Spell out the criteria of selection of schools which will qualify as junior Secondary schools.
  • Future of the Kazi Mtaani Programme

Sen. Gideon Moi, MP sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare regarding the future of the Kazi Mtaani Programme by the National Government. In the Statement, the Committee should;

  1. State whether there are plans to broaden the scope of the program beyond casual labour and bring on board more youth to benefit from the initiative;
  2. State measures put in place by the government to comprehensively address the delay of payment of wages to the youth involved in the Kazi Mtaani Programme;
  3. Explain whether there are mechanisms put in place to ensure that Kazi Mtaani Programme is transformed into a substantial   social protection program that trains and equips young people with skills for future job opportunities;
  4. Spell out measures put in place to ensures that corruption allegations about the programme are addressed in order to ensure the program is running in a transparent manner.
  • Loon Balloon solar powered internet access project

Nominated Senator (Sen. Halake Abshiro, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Information and Technology on the Loon Balloon solar powered internet access project in Kenya. In the Statement, the Committee should:

  1. Appraise the Senate on the status and location of the 35 loon balloons launched by Loon Technology in partnership with Telkom Kenya in July of 2020;
  2. State the reason of the reported shut down or discontinuation of the project
  3. Outline the measures if any that the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology has put in place to provide internet connectivity and 2G coverage to remote areas in Northern Kenya which was to be taken care of by the Loon balloons;
  4. State what has happened to date and the status connectivity of northern Kenya especially in Isiolo where there is no basic 2G.
  •  Sen. (Dr.) Getrude Musuruve made a Statement on the Global Education Summit Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025. 
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