, NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 19 – A Senate Committee session ended prematurely Wednesday morning after it emerged that the National Assembly was deliberating a Bill similar to one that had been agreed upon between the Ministry of ICT and the Senate.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru had a hard time explaining to Senator Gideon Moi-led Committee why the government had decided to introduce the Data Protection Bill in the National Assembly when the ministry had agreed with the version developed by the Senate.
Mucheru’s defence that the Attorney General Kihara Kariuki directed that the version approved by the Cabinet needed to be processed by the National Assembly and the Senate Bill incorporated therein ignited strong dissent by the Senators.
“I am being informed that the AG had directed that the approved Bill by the Cabinet needs the input of the National Assembly. I know this is contrary to what we agreed and I seek more time to go and consult,” he pleaded.
Moi, Senators Ladema Ole Kina (Narok), Enock Wambua (Kitui) and Halake Habisori said they will not accept the new development.
Ole Kina wondered why the National Assembly needed to be ‘consulted’ yet the agreed document was a County Bill.
Moi adjourned the meeting and asked CS Mucheru to correct the variance through advising AG Kariuki accordingly with the intent of stalling the National Assembly from proceeding to debate the Bill.
“It’s extremely unfortunate and I am disappointed. We will keep our faith and trust in what we discussed and agreed with you CS. I give you time to consult and get back to us,” he said and adjourned the meeting.
Moi sponsored the Bill through his committee which aims in protecting individual’s data collected by the state and private entities from being misused.