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NA Speaker Muturi bans MPs meetings outside Parliament until BBI Bill passes

  Members of Parliament have been barred from holding meetings outside Parliament buildings upon their return from recess until the BBI Bi...

 

Members of Parliament have been barred from holding meetings outside Parliament buildings upon their return from recess until the BBI Bill passes.

Speaker Justin Muturi has directed that MPs should hold their sittings closer to the chambers to raise the required numbers.

The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, will only be considered passed if supported by a majority of the members of the National Assembly and the Senate.

This would mean at least 175 members of the National Assembly and 33 senators would be needed to be in the House for the Bill to be considered passed.

“This requirement places emphasis on the need for participation of all members in the consideration of a bill seeking to amend the Constitution by popular initiative,” Muturi said.

The speaker, citing a resolution of the House Business Committee, said the move would accord the BBI Bill the necessary time and attention.

“The House Business Committee resolved that any committee sittings and activities scheduled to be held during the period of the consideration of the Bill in the House, are held within the precincts of Parliament,” he told members in a communication.

“To this end, all the members and committee leaderships are informed that no committee sittings or and activities will be held outside the precincts of Parliament during the consideration of Bill promoted by the BBI, which is expected to be concluded at the end of the month of March, 2021,” he said.

Muturi directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to ensure compliance with the directive which would come into force once MPs resume from recess.

MPs at times hold meetings outside committee rooms in Parliament to give members ample time to review matters before them without disruptions.

The bill promoted by the Building Bridges Initiative is currently undergoing public participation jointly by Justice committees of the Senate and National Assembly.

The committees are expected to report to the respective Houses on or before Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

A special sitting has, however, been called this Thursday to discuss the contentious Division of Revenue Bill, 2021, among other businesses.

The business will be among others the tabling of the report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the First Supplementary Estimates for fiscal year 2020-21.

Members are expected to approve the report which would help the exchequer unlock Sh180 billion in various expenditures by ministries, state departments, and agencies.

MPs will also consider in second reading, the National Aviation Management Bill, 2020—a proposed law seeking to nationalise Kenya Airways.

Members will also vote on the second reading of the Division of Revenue Bill, 2021) and approve the same to pave way for the Appropriations Bill, 2021.

Muturi said that in keeping with the requirements of Article 257(7) of the Constitution, the House Business Committee has prioritised the Bill to be considered immediately upon resumption of the House.

“In this regard, the Bill is scheduled to undergo consideration in Second Reading, Committee of the Whole House and Third Reading immediately the House resumes from the short recess, so that the process may be concluded by March 27, 2021.”

Muturi told MPs it was important for them to note that “it was the very first time this House is dealing with a Bill of this kind.”

MPs are expected to debate the BBI Bill on resumption of normal calendar sittings.

 

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