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Kenya Speaker avows autonomy

NAIROBI, Kenya Sept 17 – National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende says Parliament will remain assertive in discharging its duties, barely a day after MPs overruled the Executive on the reappointment of Justice Aaron Ringera as Director of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission.

Mr Marende maintained that Parliament had a duty to ensure the rule of law in this country.

“When Parliament appears to be effective, when Parliament appears to be assertive then you will no doubt notice that Kenyans have hope, Kenyans believe they are going somewhere, that their country can still progress. But when you vilify Parliament then to distort that optimism,” he said.

Mr Marende however dismissed reports that Parliament was bent on usurping the powers of the Executive.

 “We are just doing our job as the oversight part of government.”

He spoke during a consultative workshop for media owners and the House Broadcast Committee where he urged the media to be part of the reform agenda highlighted in the National Accord. 

“Eroding the credibility of Parliament has the effect of demoralising Kenyans and undermining one institution that is the heartbeat of the nation,” he said.

At the meeting, media owners told off MPs and urged them to be more nationalistic in their conduct and discard negative ethnicity.

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Mr Marende said that Parliament was planning to expand its live broadcasting system that will among others see the live coverage of Parliamentary committee sittings.

Meanwhile, MPs say the Executive has no option but to reverse the appointment of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) Director Aaron Ringera and his deputies following Wednesday’s move by the House to annul the appointments.

Legislators told Capital News that they would frustrate the Appropriations Bill that Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta withdrew at the last minute on Wednesday. Passage of the bill would have given government ministries authority to draw cash from Treasury.

Mr Kenyatta took the decision after it became apparent that MPs were determined to use the Bill to block KACC`s funding to run its operations because of Justice Ringera’s reappointment thus crippling the anti-graft body.

The MPs accused President Kibaki of disregarding the law in reappointing Mr Ringera without consulting the KACC Advisory Board and Parliament.


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