, NAIROBI, October 16 – More than half of the members in the 10th Parliament are serving for the first time in the August House. Many of these 140 lawmakers were unfamiliar with the conduct of business in the House, making it necessary for a watchful, experienced eye to guide them.
This responsibility lies with Patrick Gichohi, the Clerk of the National Assembly.
Mr Gichohi, who was appointed to the post on May 26, has served Parliament for 29 years, having joined as a Clerk Assistant Trainee.
“The role of the Clerk is a constitutional matter, He is a principal advisor to the Speaker of the National Assembly and to the MPs on all procedural matters coming to the House,” he told Capital News recently.
The Clerk’s key function is to ensure that every question, Motion, or Bill adheres to Parliament’s Standing Orders and that it is presented in the proper procedure.
“In layman’s language, my job on a daily basis involves processing House business in terms of questions, Motions and Bills that come to the floor of the House,” he explained. “I also advise MPs on how to apply the Standing Orders for us to have orderly business in the House.”
“So when you hear anything on the floor of the House it has undergone a long process,” he says.
As the Clerk, Mr Gichohi is also the Secretary to the Parliamentary Service Commission as well as being the Accounting Officer for the National Assembly Board.
“I enjoy every bit of my work. I am trained both locally and internationally. I like it because that was my ambition since I was at the university,” says Mr Gichohi who graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979.
“My dream is to see an efficient House, a House that will deliver to the expectations of Kenyans.”