The fourth senate has embarked on a five-day induction even as it prepares to kick off with the plenary sittings next week.
The training workshop is intended to inform the legislators on how to promote devolution through legislation, raise understanding about the roles of the two chambers and encourage reflection on important problems.
In attendance of Nakuru governor Susan Kihika, Nandi governor Stephen Sang, Governance Consultant Dr. Conrad Bosire and Muratha Kinuthia, Senior Social Development Specialist, the session was officially launched by Senate Speaker Amason Jeffa Kingi.
The discussions on improving intergovernmental relations are to be led by former senate speaker Ekwee Ethuro, attorney general Kihara Kariuki and CJ Martha Koome during the senate induction session as they examine new issues surrounding security and constitutional gaps and potential interventions by the August house.
The oversight house, as envisioned in the constitution, is expected to participate in sessions on topics such as how to debate during a sitting, the role of the senate, rules governing members’ conduct, the legislative process, the committee system, and the welfare of its members, in addition to senate standing orders.
The United Nations Development Programme, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), and other important stakeholders have been invited by the Senate to participate in the Naivasha session to contribute to the ongoing discussion of important contemporary topics.
Additionally, the senators will be educated on Kenya’s international and national security policies, as well as the expectations of the fourth Senate and the devolved units’ ten years of operation.
Moses Wetangula, speaker of the National Assembly and chair of the Public Service Commission (PSC) and responsible for the welfare of MPs and parliamentary staff, addressed fellow legislators during their first day induction session in Nairobi yesterday. He hinted to the MPs about ongoing negotiations between the duo for the restoration of the sitting allowance that was abolished and gazetted on July 28, 2022 by the commission.
“We live incrementally and not by reduction; I have this morning held a meeting with the SRC chairperson to express your anger over cuts in MPs’ perks. I called them to order on a few things and I assure you that I will be making an announcement before Wednesday,” alluded Wetangula.
The National Assembly counterparts have threatened to start the process of dissolving the SRC, accusing the commission of exceeding its authority, and have asked the PSC to challenge the decision in court in an effort to reinstate the plenary sitting allowance of Sh 5000 remittance for the 416 Members of Parliament in the two Houses of Parliament—National Assembly (349) and Senate (67)—which was eliminated by the SRC chaired by Lyn Mengich effective August 9, 2022.
Wetangula criticised SRC for limiting the engine size of the vehicles that MPs must use, saying that limiting the engine size of lawmakers to no more than 3000cc was unacceptable.