Senators hit out at CSs and National Assembly

Senators have asked Cabinet Secretaries to resign if they cannot honour invites to respond to issues of national concern.

The legislators yesterday said CSs are bound by law to answer any queries by Kenyans and it is their responsibility to honour such summonses.

“Those rubbishing the Senate should read the Constitution. If the CSs don’t recognise the Senate then they have no business being in office,” said Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika.

The senators spoke at a training workshop for parliamentary journalists in Mombasa. The debate on relevance of the Senate and the sibling rivalry between the Houses of Parliament also featured prominently.

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The lawmakers took issue with last week’s National Assembly leadership retreat in Mombasa, also attended by Interior CS Fred Matiangi, which they claimed was turned into a platform for bashing the Senate.

They asked why MPs are obsessed with launching an onslaught on the Senate at any slightest opportunity available.

“Senate was envisaged to be the Upper House as structured in other jurisdictions, but its functions were watered down between the Bomas of Kenya and Naivasha by the drafters of the Constitution,” said Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.

Lusaka said the Senate does not encroach on National Assembly’s functions as claimed by the House leadership.

He told the leaders off, saying the Senate has not over stepped its mandate and cannot decline to consider petitions by Kenyans touching on national issues.

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“The petitions, motions, statements sought come from any corner of this country. There is no part of the country that exists in a vacuum,” said Lusaka.

“If you want to kill devolution, then do away with the Senate.”

He said the schemes used by the National Assembly to discredit the Senate were the same ones used after independence to abolish the first senate.

Senators Enoch Wambua (Kitui) and Mohamed Faki (Mombasa) called for a cordial working relationship with the National Assembly instead of always spoiling for a fight.

“We have done a lot, especially on the Solai tragedy report, Ruaraka land saga and the maize crisis,” said Faki.

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Kenya Parliamentary Journalists Association (KPJA) Chairman Moses Njagi (also Standard reporter) stressed on objective reporting.

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SenatorsCabinet SecretariesConstitutionSenator Susan Kihika