26 February 2014

Kenya: Senators, MPs Resolve to Counter 'Governors' Arrogance'

The two Houses of Parliament have unanimously agreed to whittle down the excesses of county governors by fast tracking two crucial bills that will drastically check their "arrogance." The decision was reached during yesterday's joint informal sitting of the Senate and the National Assembly at Parliament Buildings chaired by House Speakers Ekwe Ethuro and Justin Muturi.

The meeting is a subject of the recent High Court injunction against the Senate impeachment of Embu Governor Martin Wambora for abuse of office, corruption and violation of the constitution. The meeting was also called to discuss the fallout between the legislature and judiciary, after the judiciary was accused of meddling in the affairs of the Parliament. The High Court has issued a number of injunctions against the National Assembly.

Yesterday, Parliament was incensed after governors obtained court orders not to appear before parliamentary committees after they were invited to account to their alleged financial mess in counties. They had been invited by the Senate Finance Committee.

The National Assembly agreed to expedite the enactment of the County Governments (Amendment) Bill 2013 sponsored by Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale and the Flag, Emblems, Names and Titles (amendment) Bill 2013 by Nandi Senator Stephen Sang. The Senate has already disposed off the two bills.

The county bill seeks to introduce county government development boards chaired by Senators and MPs in their counties.

The titles bill seeks to strip governors of flashy titles like 'your Excellency' and the flying of the national flag on their cars.

"We agreed to ensure that the relations between the two crucial arms of the government are enhanced through mutual respect in the discharge of their mandates. It was also clear that the governors be held to account by honouring invitations to appear before the parliamentary committees," an MP said.

The meeting also mocked the judiciary of playing judicial activism on their forbearance in issuing orders stopping decisions passed by Parliament.


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