BBI Bill debate at Senate pushed to afternoon

Senate BBI Bill debate pushed to afternoon

In Summary

• The senators convened a two-day special sitting starting Wednesday morning to consider the Bill and take a vote.

• However, the lawmakers pleaded with the speaker for time to read the joint committee’s report after panel’s co-chair senator Okongo Omogeni tabled a voluminous report.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka.
Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka.
Image: FILE

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has directed that the debate on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 starts at 2.30pm on Wednesday.

The speaker adjourned the morning session after members requested for time to read and understand the report by the joint parliamentary committees on Justice and Legal Affairs that considered the Bill.

“Following the request to read, I hereby allow the request. The Senate stands adjourned until 2.30pm today,” the speaker ruled.

The senators convened a two-day special sitting starting Wednesday morning to consider the Bill and take a vote.

However, the lawmakers pleaded with the speaker for time to read the joint committee’s report after panel’s co-chair senator Okongo Omogeni tabled a voluminous report.

“This report has just been tabled. In your guidance, it would have been better to state how we are going to get a copy of the same. We are required to do proper justice to this important bill,” Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot.

Vihiga Senator George Khaniri backed the request to adjourn the session, saying that members would make meaningful contribution to the Bill if they are given enough time to interact with the report.

“This is a very important bill. Our debate will be informed by the report of the joint committee. So for me I have seen this report now. You do not expect me to make meaningful contribution,” the lawmaker said.

Meru senator Mithika Linturi said the lawmakers should not be ambushed because the amendment of the Constitution is an important affair.

“This is a serious moment for this country. The report cannot be in vain. The report must guide us. We need to get a feel of what the public told the committee. We need to be given some time to interact with the bill and enrich our thinking,” he said.

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula said the members should be supplied with hard copies of the report and given at least two to three hours to read the document.

“The only way to debunk the things that have been circulating in the media, is to allow these members to read the report,” Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr said.