Committees

 

As a House of Parliament, the Senate can constitute Committees of the Senate complete with Standing Orders:

124. (1) Each House of Parliament may establish committees, and shall make Standing Orders for the orderly conduct of its proceedings, including the proceedings of its committees.

The Second Senate has 3 types of Committees: House Keeping (1), Standing (7) and Sessional (3) Committees. Such Committees have their powers, immunities and privileges defined by law:

117. (2) Parliament may, for the purpose of the orderly and effective discharge of the business of Parliament, provide for the powers, privileges and immunities of Parliament, its committees, ........ the chairpersons of committees and members.

 

(A) Rules and Business Committee

 

Mandate: prepare and adjust Senate Calendar - monitor and oversee the implementation of the Senate business and programmes - implement the Standing Orders.

 

Table 4.1  Rules and Business Committee (House Keeping)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Speaker Ekwe Ethuro - Chair
Male N/A N/A
  Leader of Majority Kindiki Kithure Male TNA Tharaka-Nithi
  Leader of the Minority Moses Wetangula Male FORD-K Bungoma
  Majority Whip Beatrice Elachi Female APK Women
  Minority Whip Johnston Muthama Male Wiper Machakos
  Beth Mugo Female TNA Women
  John Lonyangapuo Male KANU West Pokot
  Charles Keter Male URP Kericho
  Kiraitu Murungi Male APK Meru
10
Janet Ong'era Female ODM Women
  James Orengo Male ODM  Siaya
12 Agnes Zani Female ODM  Women

 

Click Rules and Business Committee of the Senate for more on this powerful committee of the Senate. The Chairperson and four other members of the Committee shall form a quorum.

 

(B) Committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources (Standing Committee)

 

Mandate: To consider all matters related to agriculture, livestock, fisheries development, Lands and settlement, environment, forestry, water resource management and development, veterinary services.

 

Table 4.2 Committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources (Standing Committee)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Lenny Kivuti - Chair
Male TNA Embu
  George Khaniri - V/Chair
Male TNA Vihiga
  Isaac Melly
Male URP Uasin Gishu
  Liza Chelule
Female URP Women
  Lesuuda Naisula
Female TNA Women
  Janet Ong'era
Female ODM Women
  Boy Juma Boy
Male ODM Kwale
  Danson Mwazo
Male ODM Taita Taveta
 9 Henry Tiole Ndiema
Male FORD-K Trans Nzoia

 

(C) Committee on Education, Information and Technology (Standing Committee)

 

Mandate: to consider all matters related to education, training, technology, engineering and electronic research, information, broadcasting and Information Communications Technology (ICT) development.

 

 

Table 4.3 Committee on Education, Information and Technology (Standing Committee)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Mutahi Kagwe - Chair
Male NARC Nyeri
  John Lonyangapuo Male KANU West Pokot
  Wilfred Lesan
Male URP Bomet
  Daniel Karaba
Male TNA Kirinyaga
  Joy Gwendo
Female TNA Women
  Mutula Kilonzo
Male Wiper Makueni
  Daisy Kanainza Nyongesa Female ODM Youth
  Halima Abdile Mohamud - V/Chair
Female ODM Women
 9 Kennedy Okong'o Mong'are
Male ODM Nyamira

 

(D) Committee on Energy, Roads and Transportation (Standing Committee)

 

Mandate: to consider all matters related Transport, roads, public works, construction and maintenance of roads, rails and buildings, air, seaports and housing, Fossil fuels exploration, Development, production, maintenance and regulation of energy and communication.

 

 

Table 4.4 Committee on Energy, Roads and Transportation (Standing Committee)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Kiraitu Murungi Male APK Meru
  Gideon Moi - Chair
Male KANU Baringo
  Abu Chiaba
Male TNA Lamu
  Martha Wangari
Female UDF Women
  Charles Keter Male URP Kericho
  Christopher Obure Male ODM Kisii
  Otieno Kajwang Male ODM Homa Bay
 
Johnson Muthama
Male Wiper Machakos
9
Danson Mwazo - V/Chair
Male ODM Taita Taveta

 

(E) Committee Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs (Standing Committee)

 

Mandate: to consider all matters related to resolutions and Bills for Appropriations, share of national revenue among the Counties and all matters concerning the National Budget, including public finance monitory policies and public debt, trading activities and commerce, tourism, investment and divestiture policies, planning and development policy.

 

Table 4.5 Committee Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs (Standing Committee)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Kerrow Billow
Male URP Mandera
  Boni Khalwale
Male UDF Kakamega
  Mutahi Kagwe
Male NARC Nyeri
  Peter Mositet
Male TNA Kajiado
  James Mungai
Male TNA Nakuru
  Moses Wetangula
Male FORD-K Bungoma
  Peter Anyang' Nyong'o
Male ODM Kisumu
  Harold Kipchumba Male ODM Persons With Disabilities
 9 Catherine Mutike Nobwola
Female FORD-K Women

 

(F) Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare (Standing Committee)

 

Mandate: to consider all matters related to health, manpower and human resource planning, Labour, trade union relations, manpower and human resource planning, gender, culture and social welfare, youth, National Youth Service; children’s welfare; national heritage, betting, lotteries and sports public entertainment, public amenities, recreation.

 

Table 4.6 Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare (Standing Committee)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Mohammed Kuti - Chair
Male URP Isiolo
  Zipporah Kittony - V/Chair
Female KANU Women
  Hosea Onchwang'i
Male TNA Youth
  Linet Nyakeriga
Female TNA Persons With Disabilities
  Stephen Ole Ntutu
Male URP Narok
  Hassan Abdirahman
Male ODM Wajir
  John Munyes Male FORD-K Turkana
  Wilfred Machage
Male ODM Migori
 9 Stewart Madzayo
Male ODM Kilifi

 

(G) Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (Standing Committee)

 

Mandate: to consider all matters related to Constitutional affairs, the organization and administration of law and justice, elections, promotion of principles of leadership, ethics and integrity; and implementation of the provisions of the Constitution on human rights.

 

 

Table 4.7 Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (Standing Committee)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Fatuma Dullo Female URP Women
  Kiraitu Murungi
Male APK Meru
  Kipchumba Murkomen
Male URP Elgeyo Marakwet
  Stephen Sang - V/Chair
Male URP Nandi
  Kembi Gitura
Male TNA Murang'a
  Amos Wako - Chair
Male ODM Busia
  Mutula Kilonzo
Male Wiper Makueni
  Hassan Omar Hassan
Male Wiper Mombasa
 9 Judith Achieng Sideny
Female Wiper Women

 

(H) Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations (Standing Committee)

 

Mandate: to consider all matters related to regional integration, national security and foreign relations, international relations, agreements, treaties and conventions.

 

Table 4.8 Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations (Standing Committee)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Yusuf Haji - Chair
Male TNA Garissa
  G G Kariuki
Male TNA Laikipia
  Fatuma Dullo - V/Chair
Female URP Women
  Kembi Gitura
Male TNA Murang'a
  Mike Mbuvi Sonko
Male TNA Nairobi
  James Orengo
Male ODM Siaya
  Elizabeth Ongoro
Female ODM Women
  Hargura Godana
Male ODM Marsabit
 9 Moses Wetangula
Male FORD-K Bungoma

 

(I) Committee on Devolved Government (Sessional Committee)

 

Mandate: to consider all matters related to intergovernmental and inter-county relations, governance and management of county governments, cities towns and urban areas.

 

Table 4.9 Committee on Devolved Government (Sessional Committee)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Kipchumba Murkomen -  Chair
Male URP Elgeyo Marakwet
  Beatrice Elachi
Female APK Women
  Muriuki Karue
Male TNA Nyandarua
  Mvita Kisasa
Female URP Women
  Martha Wangari - V/Chair
Female UDF Women
  Amos Wako
Male ODM Busia
  Anyang' Nyong'o
Male ODM Kisumu
  Hassan Omar Hassan
Male Wiper Mombasa
 9 Henry Tiole Ndiema
Male FORD-K Trans Nzoia

 

(J) Committee on Implementation (Sessional Committee)

 

To scrutinize the resolution of the Senate (including adopted committee reports), petitions and formal undertakings given by the National Executive and examine – i) whether or not such resolutions and undertakings have been implemented and where implemented, the extent to which they have been implemented; and whether such implementation has taken place within a reasonable time; and ii) whether or not legislation passed by the Senate has been operationalised and where operationalised, the extent to which such operationalisation has taken place within a reasonable time.

 

Table 4.10 Committee on Implementation (Sessional Committee)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Boni Khalwale
Male UDF Kakamega
  Paul Wamatangi
Male TNA Kiambu
  Linet Nyakeriga
Female TNA Persons With Disabilities
  Joy Gwendo
Female TNA Women
  G G Kariuki
Male TNA Laikipia
  Hassan Abdirahman
Male ODM Wajir
  Boy Juma Boy
Male ODM Kwale
  James Orengo - Chair
Male ODM Siaya
 9 Daisy Nyongesa - V/Chair
Female ODM Youth

 

(K) Committee on Delegated Legislation (Sessional Committee)

 

Shall consider in respect of any statutory instrument whether it-

  1. is in accord with the provisions of the Constitution, the Act pursuant to which it is made or other relevant written law;
  2. infringes on fundamental rights and freedoms of the public;
  3. contains a matter which in the opinion of the Committee should more properly be dealt with in an Act of Parliament;
  4. directly or indirectly bars the jurisdiction of the Courts;
  5. gives retrospective effect to any of the provisions in respect of which the Constitution or the Act does not expressly give any such power;
  6. involves expenditure from the Consolidated Fund or other public revenues;
  7. is defective in its drafting or for any reason the form or purport of the statutory instrument calls for any elucidation;
  8. appears to make some unusual or unexpected use of the powers conferred by the Constitution or the Act pursuant to which it is made;
  9. appears to have had unjustifiable delay in its publication or laying before Parliament;
  10. makes rights, liberties or obligations unduly dependent upon non-reviewable decisions;
  11. makes rights, liberties or obligations unduly dependent insufficiently defined administrative powers;
  12. inappropriately delegates legislative powers;
  13. imposes a fine, imprisonment or other penalty without express authority having been provided for in the enabling legislation;
  14. appears for any reason to infringe on the rule of law;
  15. inadequately subjects the exercise of legislative power to parliamentary scrutiny; and,
  16. accords to any other reason that the Committee considers fit to examine.

 

Table 4.11 Committee on Delegated Legislation (Sessional Committee)

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Sammy Leshore
Male URP Samburu
  Liza Chelule
Female URP Women
  Emma Gertrude Mbura
Female TNA Women
  Daniel Karaba
Male TNA Kirinyaga
  Mvita Kisasa Mshenga - Chair
Female URP Women
  Stewart Madzayo
Male ODM Kilifi
  Judith Sijeny - V/Chair
Female Wiper Women
  Harold Kipchumba
Male ODM Persons With Disabilities
 9 David Musila
Male Wiper Kitui

 

Now the world over, Parliamentary committees play an important role of raising the efficiency and speed of the business of the House. They do so by enabling a small group of members to work closely together and to produce Bills and reports for consideration by the whole House in plenary. Almost always, the decisions of these committees are adopted with minimal fuss by the House. However, in August 2014, the Senate strongly voted to rejected a report of a special Committee that had overwhelmingly recommended the impeachment of the Deputy Governor of Machakos County, raising concerns as to the place and part of these committees in the wider scheme of things.

Committees have been granted the powers of a High Court to summon anyone or to demand information from anyone in or outside the country, or any public or private organ:

125. (1) Either House of Parliament, and any of its committees, has power to summon any person to appear before it for the purpose of giving evidence or providing information.
(2) For the purposes of clause (1), a House of Parliament and any of its committees has the same powers as the High Court— (a) to enforce the attendance of witnesses and examine them on oath, affirmation or otherwise; (b) to compel the production of documents; and (c) to issue a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad.

The Second Senate must carefully determine the type of committees it forms lest it appears to duplicate the work of similar committees of the National Assembly and thereby risk being frivolous.

Committees of the Senate have powers to summon a Cabinet Secretary:

153. (3) A Cabinet Secretary shall attend before a committee of the National Assembly, or the Senate, when required by the committee, and answer any question concerning a matter for which the Cabinet Secretary is responsible.

The summons referred to above may be issued by a select committee investigating a matter for which the oversight role of the Senate is applicable, or by an ordinary committee considering legislation that affects policy for which the Cabinet Secretary is responsible.

To remain relevant, the Senate must remain alert to potential delays whenever Bills from the National Assembly are referred to it for deliberation. One way in which it can achieve this is to keep open lines of communication with the lower house and hope to be invited informally to provide input on Bills that do not concern the Counties, especially money Bills. So, although the New Constitution does not give the Senate the express right to advise the National Assembly, it is not too much to hope that the two Houses will seek to work in harmony and to effectively complement their roles. This cooperation which may sometimes be forced on the two houses by the political mood of the day, could be achieved through formal joint committees of both Houses of Parliament to consider ordinary Bills concerning Counties.

124. (2) Parliament may establish joint committees consisting of members of both Houses and may jointly regulate the procedure of those committees.

Joint Committees serve two main purposes: to expedite approvals over crucial legislation that must be considered by both Houses and to allow direct negotiations between the two Houses when reviewing public interest or controversial legislation. A lot of time can be wasted when for example, a Bill is approved by one House and returned by the other with amendments. Joint Committees would eliminate this ping-pong movement of Bills and also save time such as when the two Houses (or "Parliament") are considering the same report:

254. (1) As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, each commission, and each holder of an independent office, shall submit a report to the President and to Parliament.

The current 11th Parliament has two (2) joint committees of both its Houses: Joint Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity and its sister Joint Parliamentary Broadcasting and Library Committee.

 

(L) Joint Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity

 

This Committee has equal representation from both Houses, i.e 15 Members each.

 

Table 4.12 Joint Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Peter Mositet
Male TNA Kajiado
  Emma Gertrude Mbura
Female TNA Women
  Mike Mbuvi Sonko
Male TNA Nairobi
  Stephen Sang
Male URP Nandi
  Ali Bulle
Male Wiper Tana River
  Muriuki Karue
Male TNA Nyandarua
  Beatrice Elachi
Female APK Women
  Isaac Melly
Male URP Uasin Gishu
  Otieno Kajwang
Male ODM Homa Bay
10
Hargura Godana
Male ODM Marsabit
  Agnes Zani Female ODM Women
  Christopher Obure Male ODM Kisii
  Henry Tiole Ndiema Male FORD-K Trans Nzoia
  Abdirahman Hassan  Male ODM Wajir
 15 Harold Kipchumba  Male ODM Persons With Disabilities

 

For more on this Joint Committee of Parliament click here.

 

(M) Joint Parliamentary Broadcasting and Library Committee.

 

This Committee has equal representation from both Houses, i.e 15 Members each. 

 

Table 4.13 Joint Parliamentary Broadcasting and Library Committee.

 

 
Senator
Gender
Party
Representation
 1 Naisula Lesuuda
Female TNA Women
  Daniel Karaba
Male TNA Kirinyaga
  George Khaniri Male UDF Vihiga
  Stephen ole Ntutu Male TNA Kajiado
  Paul Wamatangi Male TNA Kiambu
  Kiarie Mungai
Male TNA Nakuru
  Abu Chiaba Male TNA Lamu
  Mohammed Kuti
Male URP Isiolo
  Wilfred Machage
Male ODM Migori
10
Halima Abdille Mohammud
Female ODM Women
  Kennedy Mong'are Okong'o
Male ODM Nyamira
  Boy Juma Boy Male ODM Kwale
  Daisy Nyongesa Female ODM  Youth
  Catherine Nobwola  Female FORD-K Women
15 Stewart Madzayo
Female ODM  Women

 

For more on this Joint Committee of Parliament click here.

A special joint committee known as a Mediation Committee may be formed by both Houses to help navigate around contentious legislation in County Bills and avert time-wasting stalemates:

112. (1) If one House passes an ordinary Bill concerning counties, and the second House–– (a) rejects the Bill, it shall be referred to a mediation committee appointed under Article 113; ....... .

During the preparation of the first Division of Revenue Bill in 2013 under the New Constitution, the National Assembly appeared to contravene this provision when its Speaker went ahead to ask the President to assent to it after deleting the amendments that had been proposed by the Senate. The Senate argued that the two Houses ought to establish a (joint) Mediation Committee to look into the disagreements.

113. (1) If a Bill is referred to a mediation committee under Article 112, the Speakers of both Houses shall appoint a mediation committee consisting of equal numbers of members of each House to attempt to develop a version of the Bill that both Houses will pass.

Without a doubt, Committees greatly enhance the performance of a legislative body. They enable a legislative assembly to split itself into smaller yet fully functional units of itself to expedite functions and responsibilities of the House. These smaller, nimble units are also easily able to move and sit anywhere in the Republic or abroad, when need arises.

 

 

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