Senators decry bad blood between them and MPs - Daily Nation

Senators decry bad blood between them, MPs and governors

Friday July 22 2016

Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro chats with Nyeri

Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro chats with Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe during a two-day retreat at Windsor Country Club in Nairobi. PHOTO | ERIC WAINAINA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ERIC WAINAINA
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Senators have lamented that supremacy battles between them, MPs and governors has undermined their legislative and oversight roles.

The senators claimed MPs undermine senators by failing to recognise that they have a legislative role to play and often leave them out of Bills relating to counties.

They claimed governors obstruct their oversight role by refusing to appear before Senate committees to respond to queries on mismanagement of funds raised by the Auditor-General.

Speaker Ekwee Ethuro and his deputy Kembi Gitura said the Senate has to fight for its space to avoid setting a bad precedent that will affect devolution.

They spoke Friday during a two-day retreat at Windsor Country Club in Nairobi.

Mr Ethuro said before their term expires, the Senate will examine its challenges and come up with recommendations that will ensure senators are respected in the next House.

“The Senate will ensure that it serves its purpose as the upper House without the contradiction of any other party because we want to create an enabling environment for the Senate,” Mr Ethuro said.

Mr Gitura, who is also the Murang’a County senator, said they have had issues with MPs over their position on the Senate’s legislative role to the extent that at one time they were forced for seek an interpretation from the Supreme Court.

“We have had to fight many battles, including moving to the Supreme Court to keep our space,” he said.

To solve the stalemate, nominated Senator Agnes Zani proposed that members of the two Houses should consider jointly sponsoring Bills that relate to county issues to avoid supremacy battles.

(Editing by Beatrice Obwocha)