Parliament resumed sittings on Wednesday after a long recess that started in December and which was extended for two days to allow for the mourning of former President Moi. Top on the agenda will be the vetting of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nominees to Health and Trade and Industrialisation dockets.
But more importantly, as this 4th session begins, Parliament will be looking forward to clearing 40 pending petitions from last year besides 64 pending Bills. Another critical assignment for the 12th Parliament will be preparation of the 2020/21 national budget. The House will be resuming at a time when the political environment is charged following the Building Bridges Initiative debate made worse by premature 2020 succession campaigns.
We urge the House not to let their attitudes and opinion about BBI and the clamour for a referendum come in the way of their legislative function. While we appreciate the fact that a lot is at stake in succession politics, we believe service to the people overrides anything else.
Questions have been raised over the lacklustre performance of the both Houses. Legislators also stand accused of pursuing personal, selfish and sectarian interest at the expense of the electorate. We challenge MPs to stay true to their oath of office. Parliament and indeed other arms of government must be beyond reproach.
Let the House desist from actions or inactions that reflect leadership failure. The work of an MP is to serve, not to engage in the furtherance of parochial interests. In the past, legislators discard morality when bribes and vested interests take centre stage. There have been cases where MPs made false mileage claims and engaged in needless foreign trips when each got a Sh50,000 daily as out of pocket allowance.
In some instances, House committees hold as many as three sittings in a day to attract big allowances yet no substantive issues are discussed. We’ve seen rogue MPs declaring war on anyone who questions their conduct, especially with regards their fat perks. Kenyans have many problems to contend with.
We urge legislators to be part of the solution, not the problem.