Senator accuses President William Ruto of favouring Mt Kenya in Cabinet

On October 3, a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Ruto, lifted the ten-year ban on GMOs.

"I would like to appeal to colleagues also to encourage the firm introduction of genetically modified food stuff so that we can have food security in this country. Let's not be in a hurry and in the process, we kill Kenyans," said Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale.

However, this too was rejected by Omogeni who argued that there is not enough evidence to prove the safety of GMOs. The Nyamira senator said it would be better for the government to slow down and conduct proper research before commencing importation and open cultivation of genetically modified crops.

Similarly, the House stood split over President Ruto's decision to retain the office of the Cabinet Administrative Secretaries (CAS)- a position created by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2018.

Omogeni contended that the head of state's decision to maintain positions that were declared unconstitutional by the High Court is a turnaround from his Parliament address where he promised to intentionally respect the Judiciary.

Currently, The Public Service Commission (PSC) has invited the public to submit their views on the proposed establishment of the position of CAS.

"I read the advert placed in Newspapers by the PSC. The position being created are offices within the public service. Not officers who can serve within the Cabinet. You cannot create the position of CAS as per the law. Mr speaker, this idea of going out the way trying to rewrite our constitution to reward political failures is a very bad culture," argued Omogeni.

Despite the protracted disagreements on the different issues, the House managed to agree on the power of the Senate to summon and grill Cabinet Secretaries.

In the 12th Parliament, several CSs snubbed Senate summons owing to poor implementation of the law to have CSs on mandatory obligation to appear before the House when beckoned.

Kisumu Senator Moses Kajwang argued that changes need to be made to strengthen the Senate and make it the upper house to end impunity perpetuated by CS during President uhuru's tenure.

"The impunity that was there in the executive meant you could never get the Cabinet Secretaries to appear before the committee and that impunity was further entrenched by the leadership of the house that shield the cabinet secretaries," said Kajwang.

The Senate will continue debating President Ruto's speech for two days as a procedural motion required by law.

The Hustler fund and Credit Reference Bureau's blacklisting of millions of Kenya's who have defaulted on their loans also featured as senators debated President Ruto's speech.