News and Events

Curtains Draw on the 3rd Annual Legislative Summit with a Resolve to Work Together

Curtains have been drawn on the 3rd Annual Legislative Summit with firm resolutions to strengthen the existing Inter-governmental relations. In what was termed as the best edition of the annual forum since its inception 3 years ago, speaker after speaker during the closing ceremony hailed the improving relations between various stakeholders in the devolution spectrum. In what seemed to be a clear indication that relations had improved, 3 governors graced the closing ceremony, while a few more attended various sessions within the life of the summit.

Speaking when he closed the Summit, the event’s chief guest, the Senate Speaker, Kenneth Lusaka called upon the Senate and County Assemblies to work together so as to build capacities for their respective committees for better management of county governments. Speaker Lusaka for the umpteenth time confirmed the commitment of the Senate to protecting counties and to the success of devolution.

He called upon the gathered legislators both at the national level and at the counties to endeavor to change the narrative on the place of the legislator in the country. “We must rebrand ourselves as legislators such that, even if a referendum was to be held today and Kenyans have to decide on our usefulness, they would have a resounding yes for an answer,” he appealed.

On the subject of public involvement in governance, the Speaker urged the legislators to take public participation seriously such that legislations generated from their respective assemblies resonate public input. “We must enlighten the citizenry about our mandates so as to manage their expectations upon our output”, Speaker Lusaka asserted.

He noted that the last 5 years had been a learning curve for Governors, Senators and Members of County Assemblies but the threshold for accountability and effective leadership had since risen with the inception of the second term of counties existence.

In a speech delivered on his behalf by Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri, Former Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga echoed the need to invest in building relationships among the various stakeholders in the governance of counties. Hon. Raila who was slated for the chief guest in the closing ceremony, decried the lack of clear separation of roles in the county such that mandates of various leaders remained vague to the citizenry. He called upon the leaders to embrace a clear demarcation on their duties as stipulated by law such that leaders would be blamed for their rightful failures. He called upon the MCAs to steer clear of any events resulting to a conflict of interests for them to be effective in their oversight role.

Speaking on behalf of his colleague governors, MachakosGovernor Alfred Mutua, outlined the need for members of county assemblies to work together with governors irrespective of the parties that sponsored them to the assemblies. He called upon the Members of the County Assemblies to focus on the people that elected them to office, rather than their parties or their own concerns. He supported the proposed Ward Development Fund law, terming it as progressive and good for devolution.

The Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution Hussein Dado who represented the national government, underscored the place of the Senate in the devolution story. He enumerated how the Senate had risen to occasion by addressing a lacuna in the County Government Act by addressing certain eventualities that may not had been envisaged then. These legislation gaps revolved around how to address the vacancy in the office of the governor in case of death, the process on the selection of a deputy governor and the current county boundaries situation that all needed a legislative redress.

The Chair of the County Assemblies Hon. Johnson Osoi on his part thanked the Speaker of the Senate for successfully steering the planning of the event.

The 4th Annual Legislative Summit in 2019, could be held in a different county, a departure from what has been the norm after the Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka floated a proposal that henceforth, the event by held on a rotational basis.

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