Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has protested the duplicity of duties by parliamentary committees, saying it was hurting the Executive and adversely affecting delivery of services.
Dr Matiang’i complained about the operations of the committees of Parliament while conducting their oversight roles, saying that Cabinet Secretaries and members of the executive are now spending much of their time shuffling between different committees of both Senate and the National Assembly, responding to same issues.
His complaint, delivered in the presence of National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, came even as the leadership of the House criticised their colleagues in the Senate of meddling in affairs that were out of their constitutional responsibility.
Matiang’i, who has the mandate from President Uhuru Kenyatta to chair and coordinate all government programmes and projects, a position that promotes him almost to position of Prime Minister, said the government’s delivery of services was suffering a because of the uncoordinated summons to members of the Executive by House committees.
“No one pays a higher price (due to duplication of duties by committees) more than the Executive arm of government,” Matiang’i said.
He said together with his colleagues, they have been forced to appear before as many as four committees of both Senate and the National Assembly to respond to same queries. “Who says you will die if all these committees decided to sit together and get responses to their questions at one go?” he posed.
The CS said the National Assembly and Senate must overcome their sibling rivalry and address their intra-parliamentary relations.
Matiang’i was addressing the leadership of the National Assembly on coordinated oversight and synergy towards realisation of the Big Four agenda during the ongoing Leadership Retreat at Sarova Hotel in Mombasa.
But the House leadership apportioned blame on their colleagues in the Senate who they complained were meddling in affairs they have no constitutional mandate over.
Majority Leader Aden Duale even suggested that it was time the country reverted to unicameral Parliament, saying the manner in which the Senate was conducting itself was a “mockery to bicameralism”.
“I have much respect for the Senate but we must tell them to adhere to what is within their mandate as stipulated in the Constitution. At the end of this forum we must come up with a resolution that will address this,” said Mr Duale.
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