Kenneth Lusaka, the Senate Speaker, has ruled that Senate cannot amend the constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020.
The Senate Speaker explained that Bill is a product of a popular initiative. Therefore, Parliament does not have the power to alter it.
“Parliament cannot usurp or replace public views with its own,” the Senate speaker said.
“Senators will vote for BBI as a whole. They will not vote on a particular clause. They will either vote yes, no or abstain,” he added.
Lusaka noted that Kenyans have sovereign powers to amend the constitution. Additionally, he said that Parliament does not have the delegated authority to interfere with such decisions.
Speaking on typographical errors, Lusaka said that the two Parliament speakers would correct the errors before handing the document over to the President and proceeding to the referendum.
“In respect to the specific question asked, I rule 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 can either pass or reject the Bill in toto per Article 257(8) of the Constitution,” Lusaka ruled.
“I decline to approve the notices of proposed amendments to the Bill at the Committee Stage,” he added.
Several Senators were pushing for certain amendments to the Bill. Three Senators had officially written to Lusaka proposing the said amendments.
Last week, members of the National Assembly passed the Bill. Speaker Justin Muturi had earlier on stated that there was no possibility of amending the Bill.