Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro has dismissed proposals to scrap the Senate, saying the House was crucial in addressing issues affecting the country. It was most needed at critical moments when the country is at a crossroads, he said.
Mr Ethuro said the Senate has not only demonstrated decorum but also stood up to defend the unity of the nation as opposed to the National Assembly, which he said has found itself in unwarranted situations.
Speaking at a youth meeting at Pride Inn Beach Resort in Mombasa ahead of the second annual Legislative Summit, Mr Ethuro said the Senate has done well in its mandate, citing instances when senators were forced to avert the country from plunging into a crisis.
“You have seen the way we have conducted business” said Mr Mr Ethuro. “We have not poured water on our ladies, we have not abused each other...but, in all, we have delivered.
HOUSE OF WISDOM
“This year, this country could have been in a serious problem until Senate intervened in the delicate matter of electoral laws. I am glad even Cord suspended street demonstrations because of the action of the Senate. What more conviction do you need? This is the House of the future.”
Mr Ethuro described the Senate as a House of wisdom that should never be interfered with. He said it played a pivotal role in safeguarding devolution and protecting the interests of minorities and marginalised groups, including youth, women and the disabled.
“We have a serious commitment for our country,” said Mr Ethuro. “We have brought amendments for the course of the youth.”
Meanwhile, the Speaker cautioned the National Assembly against “bashing of the Judiciary” for court decisions that were deemed unsuitable by the Members of Parliament.
BASHING THE JUDICARY
He said the Judiciary is an independent organ established under the Constitution to oversee other organs of the State and should not be penalised for discharging its functions.
“I read the other day from the National Assembly that we are going to get Sh200 billion for the registration of voters from the Judiciary because it extended the registration period,” said Mr Ethuro. “I want to plead with (Nominated MP) Mr (Johnson) Sakaja for the few remaining days to influence that House.
“Don’t just penalise the Judiciary because the court did something. The lawyers will tell you that that is why we have an appellant process, because we need sanity in our system.
“If we continue bashing the Judiciary...if we did not have the confidence in our Judiciary...you know what happened in 2007/08. We lacked the confidence in the Judiciary; that is why we fought.
“In 2013 we had confidence in the Judiciary and that is why we survived as a nation, that a loser can say, ‘I disagree but I respect the decision’.”