A motion is a proposal by a Member or a Party that the Assembly do something, order something to be done or express an opinion with regard to some matter. It may, however, also be a proposal that the Assembly discuss some matter.
a) Types of Motions
There are two types of motions:-
- Draft resolution- when a motion has its object that the Assembly take a decision on a matter
- Subject for discussion-such a motion provides an opportunity for the assembly to debate a particular topic without the Assembly being required to take a decision.
b) Procedure of introducing a motion
Standing Order 51 (Notice of Motion) provides for the mechanisms by which motions can be brought before the Assembly for debate. The sequence is as follows:-
i) Presentation of a draft motion
A member delivers to the Clerk a draft copy of the proposed Motion in writing and signed by the Member. The Clerk then considers the motion and submits the proposed motion to the Speaker for approval/rejection. In approving the motion, the Speaker considers whether the proposed motion:-
- Infringes the standing orders
- Its contrary to the Constitution or an Act of parliament without proposing an amendment to the said statutes
- Its too long(Not in a proper manner, structure, style)
- Lowers the dignity of the County Assembly
- Contains allegations which the mover cannot substantiate
- Calls for Commitment of public funds not appropriated for
ii) Notice of motion
If a motion is approved by the Speaker, a Notice of Motion is issued by the mover with preference being given to party sponsored motions. A Notice of Motion is a signifier of intent by a Member to move a motion. A notice of motion thus merely indicates an intention on the part of the Member to move a motion in the Assembly if and when it is programmed for consideration by the Assembly. Notices of motions should be limited to matters that Members specifically intend should be brought before the Assembly for debate or decision.
A notice of motion remains the property of the Member until he or she actually moves it in the Assembly. With some exceptions, Notice must be given of every motion, since in principle, the Assembly must be informed in advance of any substantive motion, to give Members and parties time to prepare to debate it.
Motions which may be moved without Notice
Standing Order 56 provides for exceptions under which Motions may be moved without Notice. These include:-
- Motion by way of amendment to a question already proposed from the Chair;
- Motion for the adjournment of the County Assembly or of a debate;
- Motion that the County Assembly do dissolve itself into a Committee of the whole County Assembly;
- Motion moved when the County Assembly is in Committee;
- Motion for the suspension of a Member;
- Motion made in accordance with the Standing Orders governing the procedure as to Bills;
- Motion for the agreement of the County Assembly with a Committee of the whole County Assembly in a resolution reported, or for the re-committal thereof or for the postponement of the further consideration thereof;
- Motion raising a question of privilege;
- Motion for the orders of the County Assembly under these Standing Orders;
- Motion made under Standing Order 240 (Exemption of business from Standing Orders);
- Motion made for the limitation of a debate under Standing Order 103 (Limitation of debate);
- Motion made for the postponement or discharge of, or giving precedence to an order of the day; and,
- Motion for the extension of sitting time of the County Assembly.
The Speaker may permit a Member to move in amended form a Motion of which notice has been given if in the opinion of the Speaker the amendment does not materially alter any principle embodied in the Motion of which notice has been given. However, certain Motions may not be moved, such as a Motion which is the same in substance as any question which has been resolved (either in the affirmative or in the negative) during the preceding six months in the same Session.
iii) Moving/debating a motion
The County Assembly Business Committee allocates time and sequence of the publication in the Order Paper of every Motion approved by the Speaker. A Motion has to be moved and seconded. A member may authorize another member in writing to move a motion on his/her behalf save for a special motion. The Speaker shall propose the question thereon in the same terms as the motion.
Debate may then take place upon that question. At the conclusion of the debate, the Speaker shall call upon the mover to reply and then put the question. However, the Speaker may, on the request of a Member, defer the putting of the question to the following day in which case the Speaker shall thereupon nominate a time at which the question shall be put.
The Speaker may not put a questions to certain motions such as a motion of adjournment of the County Assembly. Notably, a member may propose an amendment to a motion and the Speaker shall put the question of the motion as amended. Further, the proposer of an amendment to a Motion has to hand in the proposed amendments to the Clerk in writing at least two hours before the order is read.
A Motion Tracker provides an overview of the current status of all Motions before the Nairobi City County Assembly during the Session year.