Azimio Senators Reject Ruto’s Push for CSs to Appear in Parliament

  • A collage of Senate Leader of Majority Aaron Cheruiyot and Siaya Senator Oburu Odinga
    A collage of Senate Leader of Majority Aaron Cheruiyot and Siaya Senator Oburu Odinga
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • Azimio Senators opposed President William Ruto's plan to amend Standing Orders to have Cabinet Secretaries grilled in Parliament. 

    Kenya Kwanza Senators led by the leader of the majority, Aaron Cheruiyot, faced resistance in the House after the proposal was tabled. 

    Cheruiyot had argued that the policy shift would benefit all lawmakers as they would hold CSs accountable and ensure Ruto's agenda and promises are fulfilled. 

    “If there will be a beneficiary to this particular policy shift should we agree with the President would be the Senate so that we get a chance to interrogate these Ministers,” Cheruiyot stated

    Homabay Senator Moses Kajwang' at the Senate
    Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang' at the Senate
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    However, Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’ claimed that Cabinet Secretaries in the previous administration colluded with Speakers to defy summons. 

    “You would find a situation where a committee has summoned a CS but he or she finds a way to the speaker's office to negotiate whether they should appear or not,” Kajawang’ stated. 

    Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, nonetheless, supported Cheruiyot's sentiments arguing that CSs need to appear before the House to allow lawmakers to exercise their oversight mandate.

    Khalwale, who made a comeback to the Senate after five years in the cold, opined that the House would be exercising its full authority and mandate by grilling CSs. 

    Siaya Senator Oburu Odinga allied with Azimio questioned Khalwale for supporting an amendment to the Standing Orders that was initially proposed by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) proponents. Kenya Kwanza allies campaigned against the project fronted by former President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga. 

    “Is Honourable Khalwale introducing the BBI through the back door, which proposed amendments to the Constitution so that Cabinet Secretaries can come to address this house directly,” Oburu wondered?

    President William Ruto, while campaigning for the presidency, called for a review of Parliamentary Standing Orders to pave way for CSs to appear before the House to answer questions and explain government policies in the house. 

    The head of state explained that he wanted his CSs held accountable for their actions unlike in previous administrations. Ruto also urged civil servants to desist from engaging in politics. 

    Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale having a chat with Nakuru Senator Tabitha Karanja at Parliament buildings on September 7, 2022
    Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale having a chat with Nakuru Senator Tabitha Karanja at Parliament buildings on September 7, 2022