OVERWHELMED

Debate on BBI Bill may take longer than anticipated, Muturi warns

Muturi says he is overwhelmed by the number of MPs requesting to debate the Bill

In Summary

• The House had earlier anticipated to conclude the debate and take a vote on the document by Tuesday.

• Parliament had last week passed a motion allowing every speaker to debate for 15 minutes.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi outside Parliament Buildings on May 4, 2021.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi outside Parliament Buildings on May 4, 2021.
Image: LUKE AWICH

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has said the House may take longer to conclude debate on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 than it was anticipated.

Muturi said on Tuesday that he has been overwhelmed by the number of MPs putting up requests to debate on the Bill, something he noted might radically affect the House timelines.

The House had earlier anticipated to conclude the debate and take a vote on the document by Tuesday.

"There is such a huge interest from the members. As of today, the number of requests had reached 85," Muturi told journalists.

Parliament had last week passed a motion allowing every speaker to debate for 15 minutes.

That means that the 85 MPs who had expressed interest on Tuesday will require 21 hours to debate on the Bill.

"Unless Members don't show interest, it is going to take some time," Muturi said.

Muturi had earlier told MPs that they cannot amend the BBI sponsored Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

He said any amendment shall negate the popular will of the people in directly amending the Constitution.

Muturi said alterations to the text of such a bill may only be allowed to correct errors of form or typographical errors before submission for assent.

The Speaker, in a ruling which followed a litany of questions by MPs, said the question on whether some sections of the Bill are unconstitutional, is premature.