Parliament set to commence debate on the BBI Bill

The Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020 is set to be introduced in parliament for debate anytime from now.

In what will perhaps demonstrate the urgency placed on the BBI Bill, Speakers of both houses of Parliament disclosed Thursday that, having been passed by more than half of the 47 counties, lawmakers will now proceed to deliberate on it.

In their communication to their respective Houses, National Assembly’s Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Kenneth Lusaka Lusaka noted that the majority of speakers of County Assemblies have already communicated decisions from the counties, confirming that indeed, the Bill has met the constitutional requirement to proceed to the next phase.

“Honourable Senators, from the statistics I have just read, thirty-three (33) County Assemblies have so far approved the Draft Bill. Article 257(5) read together with Paragraph (5) of the Guidelines provide that each county assembly shall consider the draft Bill within three months from the date it was submitted by the IEBC.” Said the two speakers in the communication.

“In view of the foregoing, it goes without saying that the threshold required under Article 257(7) of the Constitution for the introduction of the Bill in Parliament and attendant requirements in the Guidelines HAVE BEEN MET.” They added

There being no contestation over the outcome of the process in the county assemblies, Lusaka disclosed that both houses are at liberty to set the dates for debate of the BBI Bill, but was quick to point out that this will be sooner rather than later.

“Honourable Senators, having consulted the Speaker of the National Assembly, we have resolved to commence the process of consideration of the Bill in Parliament without any further delay, in accordance with the Constitution and the Standing Orders of the respective Houses.” They said

The case of Baringo

The two speakers further confirmed the decision by Baringo County Assembly indicating that the area MCAs rejected the Bill. Lusaka however noted that the County Assembly only submitted a certificate of rejection without the draft Bill.

But failing to submit a draft bill alongside the certificate of rejection, Muturi and Lusaka appeared to indicate that it will be difficult to know what the county assembly rejected.

It will also be remembered that the decision of the Baringo county assembly has been petitioned in light of the chaos that ensued during the debate and subsequent rejection of the BBI Bill.

In the meantime, thirteen County Assemblies are yet to deliver the draft Bill to the Speakers of the Houses of Parliament with a certificate indicating either their approval or rejection of the Bill even though it is expected that the majority of them will return a positive verdict.


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