Skip to main content
Speaker Muturi recalls House from Christmas Break to consider crucial business

Speaker Muturi recalls House from Christmas Break to consider crucial business

Speaker Muturi recalls House from Christmas Break to consider crucial business

Members of the National Assembly have been recalled from recess for a special sitting slated for Tuesday and Wednesday to consider crucial bills as welll as the approval of certain state officers nominated by the President and whose approval or disapproval by the House is bound by constitutional time lines.

In a notice issued on Thursday, the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Justin Muturi, stated that the said sittings would take place in the morning and afternoon of Tuesday December 21 and Wednesday December 22, 2021 respectively. 

“PURSUANT to the provisions of Standing Order 29(1) relating to Special Sittings of the House, I have received and acceded to a request from the Leader of the Majority Party to hold Special Sittings of the National Assembly on 21st December 2021 and 22nd December 2021. The Sitting will be held in the National Assembly Chamber, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi, commencing at 10.00 am and at 2.30 pm (for the Morning and Afternoon sittings, respectively)”, Speaker Muturi said in the notification.

The House is set to either approve or disapprove the appointment of the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission and appointment of Members of the National Gender and Equality Commission. The respective Committees that conducted the vetting of the officers have  recommended their appointment to office.

Speaker Muturi said that the House will also consider the the KIRDI Bill 2020 (which is in Third Reading), ; the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the NHIF (Amendment) Bill, 2021.  The Huduma Bill, 2021 is set to be Read for the First Time in the House.

The MPs had taken a seven-week recess on December 2, 2021 and were set to resume on January 25, 2022.

With regard to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (amendment) Bill, 2021, the House will consider the proposed amendments  by the Senate to the Bill. The Senate has proposed several radical amendments to the Bill sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party in the National Assembly, which was considered and passed by the National Assembly in September 2021.  The Bill must get approval from both Houses since health is a devolved function. 

Among the amendments proposed by Senators is the reduction of fine and jail term for fraudsters impersonating National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) enrolled members. They have proposed the reduction of the fine to Kshs. 100,000 from the Kshs. 1 million approved by the National Assembly, and lowered the jail term to six months from two years. The Assembly had sought to impose stiff penalties on fraudsters to slam brakes on their continued bleeding of the State Fund.

“Clause 35 of the Bill be amended by deleting the words ‘one million shillings or to imprisonment to a term not exceeding 24 months and substituting thereof the words ‘one hundred thousand shillings or to a term not exceeding six months,” suggests the Senate. 

The Departmental Committee on Health in its Report to the House on the same, has already recommended that the House approves the Senate amendments. It is thus anticipated that the National Assembly will give a nod to the amendments paving way for the enactment of the proposed law which is crucial for the attainment of the government’s vision of rolling of NHIF backed Universal Health Coverage. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government had projected to attain Universal Health Coverage by 2022, and has been in a race to attain the goal before the President exits late next year.

In a bid to introduce reforms to the Political Parties Act in preparation for the 2022, general elections, the House is scheduled to debate the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which is in Second Reading. The proposed law seeks to amend the Political Parties Act to provide for among others, recognition of coalition political parties and the roles and functions of  political parties including recruitment and nomination of candidates. The legislative proposal further seeks to tighten the process of the registration of political parties and provide a clear guidance on when a member would be deemed to have resigned from a political party and the grounds for the expulsion of such a member from a political party. 

The Bill sponsored by the Leader of the Majority Party in the National Assembly also provides for the amendment of section 21 of the Act to provide for both suspension and deregistration of a political party. It also seeks to address the contentious matter of disbursements of monies from the Political Parties Fund. 

In a bid to protect elected leaders whose political parties may be deregistered while in office, the Bill seeks to provide for their continued holding of office whether they join another political party or remain independent of any political party after deregistration of the party that sponsored them to office. The Bill further seeks to reinforce the mandate and functions of the Registrar of Political Parties and that of the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal.

The Sittings which are expected to be held in strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols could extend to the night if the scheduled business is not concluded in time.

“It is further notified that, if need arises, the House may hold evening sittings on the prescribed dates, for purposes of concluding any business scheduled for consideration herein”, the notice further states.

The Order Papers for the said Special Sittings will be available in the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and on the Parliamentary Website (http://www.parliament.go.ke/the-national-assembly/house-business/order-paper). The items of the business to be transacted will also be available on the website.