Speaker Lusaka, CAF’s Osoi upbeat on collaboration to deliver devolution promise
The Speaker of the Senate, Sen Kenneth Lusaka and the Chair of the County Assemblies Forum (CAF), Hon Johnson Osoi today met and agreed to work together to encourage collaboration and camaraderie between the institutions they head.
Speaker Lusaka and Chair Osoi agreed that stronger relations between their two institutions were pivotal to the contribution of the realization of the full promise of devolution.
“The Senate and the County Assemblies need to strengthen their relations: with the Senate acting as the ‘big brother’ of the 47 assemblies,” Speaker Lusaka noted.
“The County Assemblies play a critical role in oversight at one level while the Senate does so at a different level and it is therefore essential that we at the Senate develop the capacities of our assemblies to carry out these roles efficaciously.”
Hon Osoi, who led a delegation that called on Speaker Lusaka in his office, noted that the Senate had played the ‘big brother’ role effectively in the 11th Parliament citing the autonomy granted to Assemblies.
“The autonomy of the Assemblies which we enjoy presently is as a result of the Senate and particularly the Finance and Budget Committee which was then-chaired by Sen Billow Kerrow (Mandera). Assemblies now access their funds independent of the Executive,” said Hon Osoi.
Giving his assurances of Senate’s support going forward he told the CAF delegation that he understood far well, the vulnerabilities the speakers of assemblies face on matters of security of tenure.
“I bring with me very good experience from the counties and I am alive to the vulnerabilities of the Speakers; where MCAs can unceremoniously decide to cut-short tenures of speakers. It will be interesting to see how this can be remedied to allow Speakers discharge their mandates without intimidation being the leaking faucet at the back of their minds,” said Lusaka.
Hon Joshua Kiptoo (Speaker, Nandi County Assembly) who chairs the Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee of the CAF Executive Committee shared with the meeting four priority areas of collaboration between CAF and the Senate. These areas included —
- a)Anchorage of CAF in law steered by Senate;
- b)Amendment of PFM Regulations to:
allow County Assemblies to vary budget estimates from the present 1 to 10 percent;
afford CAF a seat at the table for at the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC);
- c)Financial Autonomy by removing requirement for CEC Finance from approval process (they are required to sign all requisitions emanating from the Assemblies before forwarding to Controller of Budget);
- d)More inclusion in the legislative work of the Senate by allowing CAF input on Bills.
Others present at the meeting included: Hon Esther Ndile – CAF Vice Chair; Hon Raia Mkungu, Hon Charles Mwangu, Hon Erick Mwangi and CAF CEO Sisina Gladys.