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Monday, December 6, 2021

Senate approves BBI Bill

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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Handshake partners President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga put up unity call and ensure that Senators passed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

In the afternoon vote on Tuesday, more than two-thirds – 52 of the 67 senators voted in favour of the bill with only 12 mainly allied Deputy President William Ruto voting No with only one senator abstaining from the vote.

The debate on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) bill, 2020 resumed in the senate on Tuesday morning ahead of the vote.

The lawmakers took the vote on the bill after three weeks of debate characterized by calls to amend the document.

The Senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka also ruled out amending the constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020.

Lusaka said the Bill is a product of a popular initiative and thus parliament has no power to tinker with the document.

The speaker argued that Kenyans have sovereign powers to amend the constitution and that Parliament, through its delegated authority, cannot interfere with that.

On the typographical errors, he says the two speakers of Parliament shall correct the same before the document is taken to the president enroute to a referendum.

“I therefore rule, in respect to the specific question asked, that, no amendments may be made to the provisions of a Bill to amend the Constitution by way of popular initiative in the Senate. The Senate has the option of either passing or rejecting the Bill in toto in accordance with Article 257(8) of the Constitution,” Lusaka said.

“Following from these findings, I declined to approve the notices of proposed amendments to the Bill at the Committee Stage submitted to my office.”

A host of senators were clamouring to amend the bill, with three officially wrote to the speaker recommending a raft of changes – creation and distribution of 70 additional constituencies being the elephant in the room.

Senators Enoch Wambua (Kitui), Irungu Kangata (Murang’a) and Samson Cherargei (Nandi) sought the speaker’s nod to introduce the amendments.

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