Senate to hold sittings in Turkana County

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Senate will hold its sittings labelled 'Senate Mashinani' in Turkana County this week which will be a change from its normal sittings held at the Parliament Buildings in Nairobi.

The Senators will on this Tuesday deliberate on a motion by Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot conveying a resolution by the Senate Business Committee that settled on Turkana County as the host County for this year's sitting away from Nairobi.

According to the Senate Business Committee chaired by Speaker Amason Kingi, the sittings are meant to provide interlinkage between the National and County levels of government and enhance the interaction between the Senate and county governments.

"The Senate Mashinani is a means of bringing the Senate closer to the counties and the general public where the house intends to have its sittings in one county per year so that Kenyans can better understand the role of the house in supporting devolution," said Kingi.

The House Business Committee noted that there are several successes that have been realized as a result of holding the sittings outside Nairobi with earlier sittings being held in Uasin Gishu and Kitui Counties in September 2018 and in September 2019, respectively, while it was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The Senate Business Committee`s decision to hold its sittings in Turkana follows a resolution by the Senate made on March 8, 2023, to hold plenary and committee sittings in the counties for a one-week period within the month of September in every Session of the 4th Senate, except during an election year.

The Clerk to the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye said that the objective of such sittings is to promote the role and work of the Senate and enhance public awareness regarding the Business of the Senate and Parliament in general, to highlight existing and new opportunities for engagement in the legislative process besides developing and strengthening partnerships at the county level of government.

"In April this year, the office of the Clerk of the Senate carried out a reconnaissance in Marsabit, Mandera, Isiolo, Turkana, Kisii, Busia, Laikipia, Nyamira and Taita Taveta Counties then submitted reports for each County to the Senate House Committee for consideration," said Nyegenye.

It is after the tour of the nine counties that the Senate Business Committee settled on Turkana County to host this year's Senate Mashinani where the plenary and committee sittings will be held from Monday to Friday this week.