BBI Bill to be simultaneously debated by both Houses, says Lusaka

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021 11:00 |
Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has hinted that the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020 will be tabled in the National Assembly and the Senate simultaneously in the next two weeks amid a push to hasten the process ahead of the referendum.

Lusaka said the joint House committees on Justice and Legal affairs will on March 11 start public hearings on the bill and take a retreat to scrutinise the views between March 17 and 20.

The committee co-chaired by Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni and Kangema MP Muturi Kigano will today meet to develop a roadmap for public participation.

Road map

“We expect that the joint committee will table its report on March 23 for consideration by the two Houses so that by the end of the week, will have debated and made a decision on the bill,” Lusaka told journalists in Mombasa, where he is presiding over the Senate Leadership Retreat forum.

“It will then move to the next level which is the President and IEBC to come up with the road map ahead of the referendum,” he added.

In Nairobi, Senate JLAC committee chairman Okong’o Omogeni, left, said today’s meeting will agree on the modalities, programme and the period that the exercise will take.

“We have agreed that we retreat separately, discuss and then meet jointly to discuss what each committee has presented then we agree on the way forward,” Omogeni told the press at Parliament buildings.

He added: “We will decide how and for how long we can go on Thursday. If we will have a few people seeking to present views, then we will finish on Thursday but if they are many, then we will give them time.”

The Nyamira Senator said the Constitution requires Parliament to carry out public participation on crucial matters such as amendment of the Constitution.

“Courts have ruled that public participation must be qualitative, quantitative and participatory,” he said.

The senator rubbished claims that Parliament was considering a bill different from the one that came from the county assemblies.

“We are guided by articles 255, 256 and 257 of the Constitution. We cannot discuss any other thing other than that that came from county assemblies with certificates,” he said.

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