NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 23 – The Senate is set to relocate next month from the Kenyatta International Conference Centre to County Hall, near the grounds of Parliament where its permanent abode is under construction.
Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro said on Tuesday that the new chambers at County Hall are undergoing renovations, after which the Senators will sit there for the next one year.
“Last week we went to inspect the premises being constructed and we were assured we should be able to move in very soon. Of course our main home will be the Old Chamber (of Parliament, which is currently being specifically refurbished for the Senate),” Ethuro stated.
The senators have taken issue with the deplorable state of the temporary debating chamber at the KICC, with one member likening it to a mechanical garage.
The 67- member House has demanded that Parliament fast-track the refurbishment of the old chambers, which is meant to be the Senate’s permanent seat.
“This chamber does not befit the Senate. I want to encourage the Speaker and the management of Senate to make sure that this House sits in an appropriate chamber,” said Minority Leader Moses Wetangula (Bungoma).
Speaking to Capital FM News, Speaker Ethuro said all the Senators are expected to have their own offices before the end of April.
“We have secured seven floors of KICC to accommodate Senators this week. But you know we have to refurbish and bring in furniture so bear with us,” he said.
Senators are yet to get offices and they have questioned why it had taken long to figure out where the Senate would sit, yet it was provided for when the Constitution was passed in August 2010.
Senators have also complained of their working conditions being poor and that most of their staff are demoralised.