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Parliament must hold its horses now

By letters | November 16th 2013 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

With only six months in office, the Eleventh Parliament seems hell bent on controlling each and every institution.

The legislators are passing Bills to regulate the media, Judiciary and the civil society, whose traditional roles are to provide checks and balances for the government in place.

Our parliamentarians are determined to exert their role as the public watchdog despite outrage from Kenyans that they are exercising their roles unreasonably.

The bid by MPs to gag the media has raised a raging debate in the country that confirms the high value the public attaches to the freedom of the press to gather and disseminate information and help embed our democracy. The MPs also overstepped their mandate by passing a motion to have a section of the Judicial Service Commission members investigated for alleged corruption even after the High Court had initially blocked Parliament from initiating such a process.

Then there is the Miscellaneous Amendment Bill, 2013 that seeks to establish a public benefits organisation regulatory authority whereby existing NGOs will be required to re-register within a year.

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Parliamentarians seem to have no value system thus we are witnessing politicisation of issues, corruption and the tribal card playing out in broad daylight. Legislatures are representatives of the citizens elected to tackle issues of public interest but the current Parliament appears arrogant and fed with power, thus they disregard the interest of the mwananchi who put them in office.

James Okong’o, Nairobi

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