Senate and National Assembly working together to reach a truce

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir, Kakamega Senator Bonnie Khalwale and Senate Deputy Speaker Kathuri Murungi consult during Senators Induction workshop at the Sarova Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa. [Edwin Nyarangi, Standard]

Murungi said that he attended a conference in France last week where a discussion was held on how to make use of large volumes of underground water to address the frequent drought situation.

"We have large volumes of underground water in Turkana and other parts of the country which we need to harvest so as to address the perennial drought situation just like other modern countries are doing," said Murungi.

The Deputy Speaker said that the Senate will set aside one day in the week where they will be conducting business in Swahili language which is the language commonly used by most East African countries.

Murungi assured County governments that President William Ruto had promised to turn Kenya Revenue Authority to Kenya Revenue Service to make it friendly to citizens.

Senate Majority Leader Aron Cheruiyot told Senators need to ensure that Kenyans get value for electing them to serve them in Parliament.

Cheruiyot said that representation, oversight and representation are the core values for all Senators and that they should be aware that Kenyans are watching and expect them to perform their roles as expected.

"I am a keen crusader for attendance in Parliament, it is not a good show that by 4 PM most Senators are not in the house to attend to business, most Kenyans are wondering why they elected us to serve in that house," said Cheruiyot.

The Senate Majority Leader said that any Senator not doing well in committee work will have to pave way for others since in the past almost 90% of them have not been attending committees and do not understand what takes place wherever they are tasked before the house.

Cheruiyot said that in the last Parliament their unity stopped the then government from pushing agendas that were self-serving and did not have the interests of Kenyans at heart due to the level headedness of the honourable members and hoped that will continue.

"Let all committees' leadership take their responsibilities seriously so as to dispel the notion that the Senate belongs to retired Citizens, we have been elected by Kenyans to serve them," said Cheruiyot.

Senate Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo said the fourth Senate has got some heavy responsibilities which need to be actualized and it was upon members to ensure that they go down in history as having achieved their goals by the time they face the electorate in 2027.

Madzayo said the Senate Committees have a role in ensuring that their agenda is coming up with bills that champion the interests of members of the public at all times.

"Kenyans are looking up to us to ensure that we keep National and Counties Governments in check so that they serve citizens as it is expected as per the constitution," said Madzayo.

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir called on the Senate to champion for conditional grants for counties that need them since most of them were not able to meet some of their obligations.

Nassir called on the Senate to come up with legislation on how Kenya Revenue Authority engages with County Governments since they are offering services and they should not be held hostage.

"It is not fair for County Governments to conduct their businesses with fear over what the Kenya Revenue Authority will do to them since this is hindering service delivery," said Nassir.

Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki appealed on his colleagues to keep aside their political affiliations and serve the interests of citizens who have high expectations of them.

The Four days Induction Retreat is being attended by all Senators with the main focus being on exposing them to the nitty gritties, efficient and impactful conduct of legislative business.