Taking Parliament to the People
The Parliamentary Service Commission has this year participated in the 116th Mombasa International Agricultural Society of Kenya Show themed “Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade”
The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), led by its Vice Chair Hon. (Dr.) Naomi Shaban, EGH, MP, engaged and interacted with members of the public at the PSC Stand to enlighten them on legislative matters.
The event, graced by the President of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, EGH, attracted over 190 exhibitors drawn from Government Ministries, Parastatals, Non- Governmental Organizations, County Governments, Traders and Farmers from all over Kenya which was an increase from last year’s 150 exhibitors. The Show also attracted international exhibitors from several countries, including Britain, Tanzania, Uganda and Ukraine.
The Outreach programme aims at sensitizing the public on various aspects of the Parliament of Kenya, among others, Parliament’s history; constitutional mandate; bi-cameral Parliament; procedures and public participation. This was the second time Parliament was taking part in the Mombasa International Trade Fair after the year 2016 to facilitate public understanding of governance, democracy and accountability under the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) slogan, “Connecting Parliament with the People”.
The Parliamentary Service Outreach team, led by Ms. Esther Kamau, the Deputy Director of Information & Research and Chief Librarian spent the entire five days teaching and answering questions from the public and schools visiting the PSC Stand.
The public also had a chance to view and listen to audio visual debates of their Members of Parliament retrieved from the official Hansard recordings in order for them to appreciate the role their leaders play in the August House representing them.
“PSC is here today to ensure that ‘Mwananchi’ also accesses Parliament and learns how they are represented through budget making, oversight and the law making process.” Said Hon. (Dr.) Naomi Shaban, EGH, MP. Dr. Shaban emphasised that it was important that Parliament goes down to “Mashinani” (to the grassroots) to meet the people at their door steps and, as expected, to promote a better understanding of the constitutional mandate of the Parliament of Kenya and enhance understanding of the history of Parliament and the role of Parliament and national resource allocation.
The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) scooped two awards; a second prize in the category "the Best Stand that Promotes National Cohesion and Integration Development" and also received the Prestigious Chairman's Commendation Trophy
Parliament has made great strides in opening its doors to the people of Kenya through various other programmes, including hosting the Parliament Week – a week-long engagement with various activities including Parliamentary Open Day, where the Public is allowed to visit Parliament Buildings and a Public Lecture normally conducted in a selected University on rotational basis.
This year’s Parliament Week is expected to be held in November, 2019.