NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 27 – The report on the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 popularly known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is set to be tabled before the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi on Monday recalled the House for a special sitting that will be held on Wednesday and Thursday to enable members debate the report which was jointly prepared by the National Assembly and the Senate’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.
The report was officially handed over to Speakers of the bicameral Parliament on Monday setting the stage for its debate before the Bill is ultimately subjected to a national referendum.
“Pursuant to the provisions of the Standing Order 29(3) of the National Assembly, it is notified for the information of the members of the National Assembly and the general public that the special sitting of the National Assembly shall be held on Wednesday and Thursday,” Muturi said.
The sittings will be conducted both in the morning starting at 10.00am and in the afternoon at 2.30pm.
The submission of the report has been a culmination of infighting among members of the Joint National Assembly and the Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee who were divided as to whether there is need to further amend the report or not when it is finally tabled on the floor of both Houses.
The debate of the Bill by the bicameral Parliament will provide an opportunity for political theatrics after some members of the joint committee differed on the constitutionality of some of the proposals contained in the Bill notably the distribution of the proposed 70 new Constitution.
Whereas some members opined that it is solely the prerogative of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct the delimitation of boundaries exercise that would ultimately decide on which regions should be given more constituency, other members held contrary views.
While the proponents of the BBI Bill are optimistic that the document will be subjected to a referendum by July latest August 2021, they will first have to wait for a High Court ruling that barred the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from conducting the exercise to be vacated.
Other reports which are due for tabling include that of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the consideration of the Senate Amendments to the Division of Revenue Bill 2021, report of the departmental committee on Education and research vetting of the nominees for appointment to the positions of Chairperson and members of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
The same Education committee will also table the report on the vetting of the nominee on for the appointment to the position of Principal Secretary in the State Department for Implementation of Curriculum reform.
Following the tabling of the reports the House will subsequently consider the special motion on the nominees for appointment to the positions of chairpersons and members of the TSC and that of the nominee for Principal Secretary.
Other motions to be considered is that of petition for removal of Tabitha Mutemi from the membership of the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) and consideration of the Senate Amendments to the Division of Revenue Bill 2021.