Speaker sees an end to House rivalry
The sibling rivalry between Senate and the National Assembly will soon be over, says Senate Speaker Amason Kingi (right).
His assurance came even as he explained that Senators need a funds kitty to enable them to oversight the devolved units effectively.
Yesterday, while launching the Senate Induction Retreat at a Naivasha hotel, Kingi explained that the roles of the National Assembly and the Senate are well anchored in the Constitution and there should not be any form of sibling rivalry.
“National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula is better placed, even more than I am, on the issues facing the Senate. There should be no sibling rivalry between the two Houses,” said Kingi. He added that the oversight role bestowed on Senators by the Constitution requires them to closely monitor, supervise and legislate on all aspects of devolution in the 47 counties, collectively and individually.
The Speaker vowed to engage all relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, to put a system in place that ensures Senators are sufficiently facilitated to discharge their oversight responsibilities.
Kingi said the Parliamentary Service Commission was established to assist in effective functioning of Parliament, exercising budget control, appointing and supervising office holders and ensuring the welfare of members.
He added that the other key role of Senate is to debate matters of national importance.
The Speaker said the induction training is meant to equip Senators with knowledge that is essential in discharging their mandate. “Senators will also benefit from special sessions on Kenya’s foreign policy and national security, media relations and public awareness”, he said.
“We are, by no means, restricted in dealing with issues that are of great public interest and must always adopt a liberal approach to matters that affect the citizenry.”
He went on: “We have the cardinal duty to shape and positively build on the gains already made by our predecessors in the last decade to positively influence and improve operations and effective functioning of the Senate during our tenure.”
In his keynote address at the launch of the induction training, said that the exercise is meant to equip and empower Senators with knowledge and vital information that are essential in discharging their mandate and functions in the Senate and its Committees.
He charged that the training would further enable Senators to understand the workings and key legislative processes within the bicameral set-up of our Parliament, the mandate of the Parliamentary Service Commission, amenities and entitlements available for Senators.
In addition, the training he said is meant to enable the Senators understand the Senate’s role in advancing inter-governmental relations, inter alia, how it relates with other Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices as well as non-state actors in the devolution space.
“Senators will benefit from special sessions on Kenya’s Foreign Policy and National Security including Media Relations and Public Awareness. After the deliberations and reflections, Members will be able to generate valuable ideas that would constitute the Agenda of the 4th Senate that would henceforth guide debate and operations of the Senate,” said Kingi.
He urged and implored the lawmakers to accord the induction programme reserved for its coverage, the due attention and significance it deserves.
“To complement the induction programme we will be undertaking here, members will subsequently be taken through Senate Standing Orders which constitute the basic rules and regulations of operation of the Senate.”
The Standing Orders are the key operational tools and means for effecting orderly business of the House in the fulfillment of the principal constitutional mandate which includes legislation and the key roles of oversight and representation of counties.
Kingi, said that as Senators discharge the legislative mandate and other fundamental leadership roles, adding that their contributions will only acquire due significance if the Senate adopts a strategic and responsive viewpoint of its placing in the polity of Kenya.