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Rift between Senate and National Assembly widens

Friday April 26 2019

A joint National Assembly and Senate sitting

A joint National Assembly and Senate sitting on March 27, 2014. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

SAMWEL OWINO
By SAMWEL OWINO
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BAYA SAMUEL
By BAYA SAMUEL
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The National Assembly has once again accused the Senate of overstepping it's mandate further widening the rift between the two houses.

At a leadership retreat which kicked off Friday in Mombasa, Members of the National Assembly accused the Senate of duplicating work leading to wastage of public resources.

Led by the speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, the MPs told senators to keep off matters that are not within their jurisdiction.

Mr Muturi pointed out that 95 percent of legislation is passed in the National Assembly and assented to by the President.

"The Senate cannot pass any bill on their own without bringing it to the people's representatives in the National Assembly," Mr Muturi said.

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Majority leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale called on the Attorney-General to convene an urgent meeting to interpret section 93 (2) on the role of the two houses.

"The AG is under obligation to call for an urgent meeting so that we know our boundaries," Mr Duale said.

"The senate is a deception of the bicameral parliament, it's very weak," the Garissa Township MP added.

Mr Duale said the National Assembly and the Senate do not operate like kiosks by the roadside but are guided by the Constitution.

Speaking at the same event, minority leader in the National Assembly John Mbadi said the Senate must restrict themselves to matters of the counties.

Mr Mbadi warned that if the roles of the two houses continue to collide, the public risk losing resources .

Mr Mbadi pointed out committees of both houses risk producing reports with contradicting recommendations.

He pointed out the Ruaraka land scandal which was probed by National Assembly Lands committee and the Senate Public Accounts committee

"The role of the Senate is well defined in the constitution and that it is to oversee the counties. The Senate has its work but out in the counties. Why then are they duplicating duties, " Mr Mbadi said.

The report by the Senate committee was shot down while that of the National Assembly was adopted.