Parliament Sets Special Framework to Pass BBI in Record Time

  • National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi (left) and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.
    National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi (right) and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka (left) during a previous event in 2019.
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  • The two houses of Parliament - the Senate and the National Assembly - have outlined a framework which will see the expedition of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 popularly referred to as BBI.

    In a statement on Wednesday, March 3, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka stated that he had agreed with Speaker Justin Muturi and the leadership of the Houses that the Bill would be introduced simultaneously in the National Assembly and the Senate, and as much as possible, follow a similar process.

    In line with the agreement, the bill will be introduced in the Senate for First Reading on Thursday, March 4, 2021 - the same day as the National Assembly tabling.

    "This provision seems to be drawn from the lengthy process attached to the consideration of the Bill in terms of collection of signatures in support; verification of the said signatures; public participation undertaken by various County Assemblies and ultimately, approval by the assemblies.

    Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka addressing participants during an event at Hekima University College in Nairobi on May 3, 2018.
    Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka addressing participants during an event at Hekima University College in Nairobi on May 3, 2018.
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    "I am therefore persuaded that the Senate is under obligation to do everything necessary to expedite the introduction of such a Bill," he stated.

    Lusaka further directed the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights to hold joint sittings with the National Assembly counterpart Committee on the Bill and undertake public participation jointly pursuant to Standing Order 224.

    On Tuesday, February 2, his national assembly counterpart, Speaker Muturi issued a similar communication.

    He directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to urgently obtain sufficient copies of the Bill in the form that it was presented to the 47 county assemblies by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to enable its introduction into the House as directed.

    Speaker Justin Muturi on Tuesday notified the House that his office had received certificates from the counties that approved the Bill.

    He noted that the threshold of at least 24 county assemblies had been met for the Bill to be transmitted to the bicameral Parliament for debate.

    "The constitution contemplates expeditious processing of a Bill to amend the constitution by popular initiative. Such a Bill shall be introduced in Parliament without undue delay," Speaker Muturi noted.

    He stated that the bill did not require the 14-day period applicable to other bills.

    The BBI draft Bill has so far received approval from 43 County Assemblies and rejected by three which are Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, and Baringo County Assemblies.

    BBI County Watch
    BBI County Watch