Senate Leadership Meets to Set Priorities for Penultimate Session
MOMBASA, 9th March – Senate Leadership projects that the constitutional review process and consequential legislation thereof, shall have a huge and direct bearing on the legislative output of the Fifth Session.
Speaking at a planning and review retreat between the House Leadership and the Leadership of the Senate Secretariat, Speaker of the Senate, Rt Hon Kenneth Lusaka affirmed that the Senate will play its role in the process judiciously and within the confines of the law.
“Today, a joint sitting of the Justice and Legal Affairs of both Houses is taking place and shall soon after, start public hearings on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020. They’ll then retreat to write their report which we expect to be tabled in both Houses on 23rd March,” the Speaker reported.
The Deputy Speaker of the Senate, Sen (Prof) Margaret Kamar observed that the penultimate Session provided an opportune time to audit the performance of devolution over the last eight years and provide a roadmap to address pending issues before end of the term of the current Parliament.
On his part, Majority Leader, Sen Samuel Poghisio lauded the landmark ruling by the High Court on Constitutional Petition No. 284 of 2019.
“The ruling has revolutionized the law making process of Parliament by not only reaffirming constitutionalism and the rule of law, but in particular, adherence to the letter and the spirit of Article 110(3) of the Constitution of Kenya,” said Sen Poghisio.
Minority Leader Sen James Orengo noted he was “very happy” about the proposed composition of the Senate as provided in the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill.
“I am glad that the proposals in the Bill shall ensure that the Senate is constitutionally and legally compliant insofar as the two-thirds gender rule is concerned.
Reaffirming the commitment of the Secretariat in facilitating the Leadership and other Senators, Clerk of the Senate, Jeremiah Nyegenye, observed that being privy to legislative priorities of key players in the process, Senate Leadership sits at a privileged position that would allow them to steer the House to realize its mandate.
“In fulfilling its mandate as the primary organ that is mandated to shape the agenda of the Senate, the Senate Leadership has an opportunity to enable the Senate to fulfil its constitutional obligation effectively and robustly,” the Clerk encouraged.
Others present at the meeting included- Sen Kimani Wamatangi, Sen Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Sen Fatuma Dullo, Sen Farhiya Ali, Sen Beatrice Kwamboka and Mohamed Ali (Deputy Clerk).
The interaction between the leadership and the Senate Board of Management at the beginning of the Session is important for purposes of setting priorities together as the premier institutions in charge of the implementation of the Senate agenda.