, DIANI, Kenya, Sep 11 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Members of Parliament, both in the Senate and National assembly, to collaborate and legislate for Kenyans irrespective of party affiliation.
He said both CORD and Jubilee members should put the country first and serve Kenyans without discrimination.
“Whether in Senate or the National Assembly, Members of Parliament legislate for Kenyans in all their diversity,” President Kenyatta said.
He spoke at Diana in Kwale County when he closed an induction retreat for Members of the National Assembly. The four-day MPs’ retreat was aimed at building capacity towards an effective and efficient legislature.
Responding to security issues raised by participants, the President affirmed his intention to follow through with police reforms and work with the legislators to address security challenges.
“Security is for all of us and whatever solutions we come up with need to incorporate the views and concerns of all Kenyans,” he said.
The President said he looked forward to partnering with parliamentarians in fostering the interests of Kenyans. He assured them of his full support on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
He said lawmakers must embrace national values, especially unity and patriotism, which call for bicameral collaboration, dialogue and mutual understanding. He challenged them to uphold a value-added political competition and philosophical bipartisanship by acknowledging the national interest in an opponent’s initiative.
“Not all legislative engagement must be framed in the context of partisan vendetta. Politics must not always be divisive,” President Kenyatta said.
The President advised that when Members of Parliament find the bicameral mechanisms in the Constitution unwieldy, they should be guided by the First Principles of the constitutional order which states that the sovereignty of the people belongs to the people.
“Parliament exercises legislative power derived from the people, represents the will of the people and exercises their sovereignty,” the President said.
He said in order to make constitutional sense of their authority and function, every State organ, arm of Government, State and public officer must align their intentions and actions to the national values and principles of governance contained in Article 10 of the Constitution.
The values include patriotism, national unity, sharing and devolution of power, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people. Others are human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, non-discrimination and protection of the marginalised, good governance, integrity, transparency, accountability and sustainable development.
The Head of State said the values are mandatory parameters by which every policy, strategy, programme and decision must be evaluated for propriety and legality.
“Therefore, even as we assert our positions in discourse, we must always be conscious of the values we intend to promote. Similarly, as we oppose proposals, we must point out the national values at stake,” the President said.
Addressing the participants, Interior and Coordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary, Joseph ole Lenku underscored the role members of National Assembly in boosting national security.
Lenku urged the legislators to sensitize their constituents to support community policing which, he said, was an important cog in curbing insecurity.
Baringo East MP and Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security, Asman Kamama took a swipe at the National Police Service for not effectively addressing security challenges in the country.
He proposed a number of measures including reforming the Fire Arms Act, vetting all police officers and disbanding the traffic department and replacing it with new recruits as a way of boosting security and reducing road accidents.
(Story by Kazungu Chai)