12 April 2018

Kenya: Speaker Lusaka Asks MPs to Embrace Privileges With Responsibility

Nairobi — The Speaker of the Senate Kenneth Lusaka has called on Senators to embrace parliamentary privileges extended to them with responsibility and humility.

Speaking on Thursday during the induction workshop for the Committee on Powers and Privileges - which he chairs - Lusaka explained that Senators needed to understand that the privileges that the law accords them imposed a greater responsibility on them.

Article 117 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 provides for the powers, privileges and immunities of Parliament.

"These powers and privileges are not in themselves protection of members promoting impunity; you cannot therefore, claim privilege or immunity in criminal matters and other civil offences committed outside Parliament.

"You are only protected to efficiently and effectively discharge your duties," said Lusaka.

On his part, Clerk of the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye told members that the privileges allocated to them are crucial and justified on the basis that they are a necessary component for the fulfilment of the mandate of Parliament.

The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, No. 29 of 2017, was sponsored by the Leader of Majority in the National Assembly and was passed by the National Assembly on 15th October, 2015 and by the Senate on 15th June, 2017.

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