, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 29 – Newly elected Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has pledged to uphold the law throughout his tenure while handling complexities of the bicameral legislature.
In his acceptance speech, Muturi told the 349 Members of Parliament that they are presented with a unique opportunity to do things in a different yet efficient manner.
“On my side, I also undertake to work closely with the Senate Speaker to facilitate smooth running of the affairs of Parliament and the Executive. This is a crucial requirement in bicameralism, more so in the initial steps of a nascent presidential system of government,” he told the first sitting of the 11th parliament.
The Speaker said the working relation of the three levels of representation may experience hiccups which will be resolved with induction training.
The National Assembly has 349 members and a Speaker, Senate with 67 Senators and a Speaker as well as 47 County Assemblies which also has a Speaker.
As per the constitution, the Senate will represent the counties, and will also be participating in the law-making function of Parliament by considering, debating and approving Bills concerning counties.
It is the Senate which will determine the allocation of national revenue among counties and exercises oversight over national revenue allocated to the county governments.
The Senate will also participate in the oversight of State officers by considering and determining any resolution to remove the President or Deputy President from office.
On the other hand, the National Assembly which Kenyans have been accustomed to will be representing the constituencies and will debate and pass laws which do not directly touch on counties.
Muturi was elected Speaker by a simple majority beating former Speaker Kenneth Marende by 219 votes against 129 votes.
Muturi, who is former Siakago Member of Parliament and a close ally of President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, garnered 202 votes against Marende’s 144 votes while two votes were spoiled in the round one.
For one to be announced the winner of the Speaker’s post in round one, they should garner at least two thirds of the total votes cast.
The two contenders failed to garner this number, triggering a second round of voting.
The incoming Speaker stated that his victory was for all Kenyans.
“As your Speaker, I will fervently preserve the powers, privileges and immunities of this House, without which, optimal performance would be greatly compromised,” Muturi said in his acceptance speech.
Sotik MP Joyce Laboso was elected deputy speaker of the National Assembly.
At the Senate, Ekwe Ethuro was elected Speaker where he will be deputised by Kembi Gitura.
Muturi urged the MPs to put aside the hostilities witnessed during the election and focus on delivering services to their electorates.