Heated debate as Senators push to amend BBI Bill

In Summary

• The lawmakers said that besides typographical and referential errors, the bills has several unconstitutional clauses that the house must amend before the bill is subjected to a referendum.

• Nyamira senator Okong'o Omogeni who co-chaired the joint Parliamentary team that considered the bill, piked holes in the bill, including unconstitutional clauses and errors.

Senate
Senate
Image: FILE

The debate on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 started on a high in the Senate with the lawmakers pushing to amend the Bill.

The lawmakers said that besides typographical and referential errors, the bills has several unconstitutional clauses that the house must amend before the bill is subjected to a referendum.

Nyamira senator Okong'o Omogeni who co-chaired the joint Parliamentary team that considered the bill, piked holes in the bill, including unconstitutional clauses and errors.

" We are not violating powers of the people of Kenya if we invoke article 194 of the Constitution. I want to appeal to the House to correct errors that appear in this Bill before it is taken to the people, " Omogeni said.

The lawmakers in a show of unity, prevailed on the house leadership to allow them open the document.

Omogeni, a senior counsel, pointed out the errors and the unconstitutional clauses in the bill.

“How will we look in the face of Kenyans if take to them a bill that has errors?” Omogeni posed.

He told the House that bill before them has flaws and urged the majority leader to move a motion to make corrections.

“I am sure that even the president and (ODM leader) Raila Odinga, the owner of the handshake are not going to kill us before we have corrected these errors. The bill being considered in the NA does not have these errors,” he said.

The legislator went ahead to identify unconstitutional clauses in the bill.

He cited the proposed creation of the proposed creation of 70 constituencies, terming the schedule creating them unconstitutional.

He also questioned the method used to allocate the constituencies.

Murang'a Senator Irungu Kangata said the schedule creating the does not indicate the schedule it is anchored on.

He argued that the bill should be amended or struck out in totality, saying the irregularities and illegalities contained therein are fundamental.

“We do have two bills; one before the National Assembly and the other before Senate. Those are not simple typographical errors. I wonder, which bill will go to the referendum. And don’t forget that majority of county assemblies considered the erroneous bill,” he added.

Kangata reckoned that the bill has serious issues that are constitutional in nature that need to be looked into as a House.

“There is nothing that stops this house from removing all amendments that are unconstitutional and taking to the people constitutional amendments,” he said.