Curtains fall on the Post-Election Seminar for Members of the National Assembly
The Post-Election Seminar for the Members of the National Assembly which kicked off on Monday, 30th January, at the Pride Inn Beach Resort Convention Centre and Spa in Mombasa county, has come to a close this evening with calls on the legislators to put their best foot forward, embrace progressive democracy and deliver on their mandate exceptionally.
The seminar whose resource persons were drawn from the auspices of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association as well as among top political leaders and Government officials, saw H.E President Dr. William Ruto grace the opening ceremony, and his deputy, H.E Hon. Rigathi Gachagua closing the Seminar.
Speaking to the participants during the closing session, the Deputy President who served as a Member of the National Assembly in the 12th Parliament, acknowledged the importance of the seminar saying it had helped the Members to gain insights into the execution of their mandates.
“This seminar is a step in the right direction as it will improve service delivery in our legislature. It couldn't have come at a better time than when our government is starting its term. This will assist you immensely in the execution of your mandate,” the Deputy President said.
He called on the members of the National Assembly not to shy away from executing their oversight role of holding the government of the day accountable.
“The Kenya Kwanza is eager to be held accountable by Parliament. I urge you to hold us accountable and do it fearlessly. For democracy to thrive in this country, we must let independent institutions run independently. We will be on the right side of history if we deliver on our promise,” he said.
At the same time, Hon. Gachagua reiterated the President’s call on the leadership of both Houses to foster unity even as they endeavour to deliver on their varied mandate. He noted that lawmakers serving in the 13th Parliament would only secure a lasting legacy if they collaborated to execute their roles irrespective of the political formations that sponsored them to the August House.
On this part, the Speaker of the National Assembly the Rt. Hon. Moses Wetang’ula , who was also present during the closing ceremony, thanked the members for their cooperation, and patience throughout the four-day seminar.
He took the opportunity to call on Members to prepare adequately for a busy Second Session when the House resumes in a week’s time. He noted that the National Treasury had already submitted the Supplementary Budget to his office for consideration, and that he had in line with the Standing Orders, committed it to the Budget and Appropriations Committee. He directed the respective committees to expedite their examination of the supplementary budget and to submit their reports before the House resumes, paving way for the House to scrutinize the Budget Policy Statement.
“Our long recess is now coming to an end and I know you have learned from this forum that the quality of parliamentary work doesn't lie on the mercurial presentations we make on the floor of the House but in Parliamentary committees and the Committee of the whole,” the speaker said.
The Seminar also witnessed intense deliberations for a clear roadmap on the entrenchment of the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) and the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) in the Constitution. Both the President and the Deputy President -both of whom have been legislators during the administration of the Fund, recounted the invaluable contribution of these two Funds towards the elevation of communities through sustainable initiatives in Health, Education, Roads Infrastructure and other sectors.
The four-day-long event themed, ‘Equipping the 21st Century Legislators for Effective Service Delivery’ gave the participants an opportunity to receive varied perspectives from governance experts and highly experienced individuals on Parliamentary practice and procedures. In his speech during the opening ceremony, President Ruto strongly urged the members to routinely consult, debate, and negotiate or effective delivery of the mandate.
Other dignitaries such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Secretary General-Hon. Stephen Twigg, The Deputy Chairperson National Council of Provinces, South Africa-Hon. Sylvia Lucas, Hon. Kevin Andrews-Former Member of Parliament Australia House of Representatives, Mr. Tom Kahn of International Republican Institute USA, and Ms. Natalie Foster of the House of Commons Canada graced the event and shared their knowledge and experience with the Members.