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Nyamira Senator Okong'o Omogeni hands over BBI Bill to Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka on April 26, 2021.

BBI

Eyes in the Senate after receiving BBI Bill

NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 26 – The Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on Monday handed over its report on the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 popularly known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to Speaker Kenneth Lusaka. 

The Committee chaired by Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni jointly compiled the report with their counterparts in the National Assembly who conducted public hearings on the Bill.

Lusaka said he will engage in consultation talks with his National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi to synchronize the sittings so as to allow members of the bicameral House debate the Bill.

“I will be consulting with the leaders of both Houses to see if a special sitting will be necessary for us to look at the report,” he said.

The submission of the report to the Senate has been a culmination of infighting among members of the Joint National Assembly and the Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee who are 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 theatrics after some members of the 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.

The bicameral Parliament is currently on recess with the National Assembly expected to resume its sittings on May 4 while their counterparts in the Senate are expected to resume a week later.

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Lusaka noted that in the event the Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio or the Senate Minority Leader James Orengo fail to request him to call for a special sitting and in each case with the support of at least fifteen Senators, the House will then have to debate the Bill when it resumes its sittings.

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